This week, your hosts discuss the pros and cons of yanking the documentary Vaxxed from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Zach on Film subreddit:

UPDATE: Here is what DeNiro says about the controversy

At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. If you would like to support our efforts, please become a patron today.

About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Regarding Andrew Wakefield, most are not aware that his colleague Professor John Walker-Smith was also stripped of license to practice medicine (Dr. Wakefield still retains his doctorate, not his license) by the GMC over this issue. Walker-Smith had insurance to appeal the GMC decision in actual British court where the major charges (very similar to charges against Wakefield who did not have financial means to appeal) were overturned, his license restored, and the judge told the GMC this must never happen again.

    • I am not a lawyer or a doctor but this ruling mostly seems to focus on whether the original study was carried out with proper oversight. I certainly doesn’t convince me that they were right to make the claims they did or that continuing to insist that MMR causes autism even after new evidence disproved it wasn’t grossly irresponsible.

  2. Excellent episode dealing with some contentious issues.
    Well done Stephen for taking on the thankless task of devil’s advocate. I do think it’s important to have a space for desenting voices but at the same time the media needs to be careful not to provide a megaphone for dishonest, self serving or delusional groups and individuals.

  3. If you wantet a discussion you should have shown the movie followed a dokumentary or lecture with another viewpoint. Im a doctor and 100,000% behind vaccination. But not letting the critics being heard just feeds the conspirasy theory.

  4. Fascinating discussion this week, really appreciated it. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents, having caught myself speaking out loud to no one in response to what was being said on the podcast while listening to it on my way to work. I think Stephen’s points about art being important, and sometimes needing to upset people are valid, but I wonder about when/if that might cross a line.

    Imagine, for example, a sculpture of one man keeping another in chains on display at a museum. Depending on the features/races/what-have-you of the subjects of the piece, that particular work of art might be likely to spark some uncomfortable conversations about a variety of subjects, racism or classicism or whatever else. But if the artist chooses to include a placard on his statue that reads “This is Ronald Jenkins, He lives at 123 Hypothetical Drive and he’s keeping a man chained in his basement exactly as depicted here, but the police won’t do anything about it!” and then Ronald Jenkins, who actually does live at 123 hypothetical drive gets his house broken into, even though he doesn’t ACTUALLY have a man chained up in his basement, is that an acceptable thing for the artist to have included in his piece?

    As with everyone who’s been a part of this discussion so far, I haven’t been exposed to Vaxxed, although I would be willing to watch it if given the opportunity to do so. I wonder if the films content treads the line between being art, presenting a set of information and asking the audience to question their views, or wether it attempts to solidify an audiences view with misinformation and outright lies. For my part, in the shoes of the Tribeca film board, I would have been all too happy to show Wakefield’s film, so long as I was immediately allowed to follow a given audiences viewing of that film with an opposing viewpoint, wether that’s another film, or a panel discussion by experts or what have you. I think that’s really the crux of the issue here, is the notion that the desired effect, as DeNiro stated, of presenting this film was to spark a discussion, and you can’t have a discussion without 2 opposing or disparate opinions.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.