In the News: More Blowback for the Tribeca Film Festival

••• The Tribeca Film Festival continues to catch flak for its misguided decision to screen an anti-vaccine “documentary” by a discredited doctor (Salon, The Cut, Glamour, Smithsonian, and so on). The festival’s response is anemic, to say the least—as if curating doesn’t involve value judgements! Moreover, here’s the festival’s description of the film. One can only assume they included it to court controversy for PR purposes, which is borderline depraved.

Tribeca Film Festival responsesTribeca FIlm Festival Vaxxed descriptionUPDATE: Festival co-founder Robert De Niro released this statement:

Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.

UPDATE 3/26: The festival released a statement from De Niro, which included this: “We have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”

••• P.S. 234 teachers are mentioned in a New York Times article about how “Teachers Are Warned About Criticizing New York State Tests.”

••• “Research by Diana Switaj, CB1’s director of planning and land use indicates that more than 6,000 new apartments are scheduled to be developed Lower Manhattan in the next several years (not including the building at 80 South Street [which is the focus of this article]). These are likely to bring with them almost 12,000 new residents, and deepen Lower Manhattan’s deficit in schools capacity by hundreds of additional seats.” —Broadsheet

••• A GQ Taiwan fashion story was shot in Tribeca. —Homme Mode (or Homme Model?)

GQ Taiwan



  1. Couldn’t agree more with De Niro’s point that all causes of autism be examined. That is precisely the reason this film should not be viewed. The film and research supporting the film has nothing to do with the causes of autism. It is false. And it is dangerous if presented as true. Dr Wakefield is more dangerous than heroin. His lies have killed hundreds. And it will kill thousands more.

  2. as a ps234 parent, i believe that lisa crossed the line by allowing that email to be sent via the school’s email system that is for official communication only. last year she organized a testing boycott on school grounds. i am not ok with her dragging my child into this debate and i think the doe was correct in putting a stop to it.

    this line from the email especially bugged me. “If you are considering opting out, write a letter to Lisa to express your concern over state tests and refuse your child’s participation in the tests. Opting out of the state tests is your choice. We want you to make an informed decision.”