Screening Room: ‘Vaxxed,’ Film Fests, and Truth


The Tribeca Film Festival, which has long been one of the country’s premier venues for new documentaries, ran into controversy recently when they pulled one of their films from the schedule. Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe is a documentary by Andrew Wakefield, one of the top pushers of the vaccines-cause-autism conspiracy theory. Not surprisingly, some people had a problem with this.

My article “Why the Tribeca Film Festival was Right to Pull Vaxxed‘ ran in the online edition of Little White Lies:

The argument to screen Vaxxed regardless of its relationship to the truth feels similar to that pushed by creationists who cloak their school agendas under the cloak of “teaching the controversy,” when in fact no actual controversy exists…

Department of Health: ‘Star Wars’ and Vaccines

(U.S. National Library Of Medicine)
(U.S. National Library Of Medicine)

In the late-1970s, a couple decades before measles was declared officially eliminated in the United States—and before Rand Paul and the rest of the anti-science crowd got busy bringing it back—the government felt it needed some help convincing parents to give their children the measles vaccine that had been first introduced in 1968.

What better allies in the fight against easily-stoppable communicable diseases than a couple of droids from a galaxy far, far away?

At right you’ll see the poster that the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare used at the time to make their case. Perhaps it’s time to bring them back?

(H/T: Pixable)