The Unintended Consequences of #VAXXED Getting Axed

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Surely you’ve heard a few times this month that Robert De Niro deselecting Andrew Wakefield’s movie VAXXED at Tribeca was the best thing that could have ever have happened to it.  Even though De Niro was kicking himself for his knee-jerk reaction on the Today Show last week in the greatest six-and-half-minute interview of all time, no one can deny that this has turned into quite the phenomenon.

I’m not going to lie– I was momentarily devastated when I saw the news that it was pulled three weeks ago. “Pharma wins again,” I thought.  “No surprise there.” I figured that the two-day ride that the movie had at the top of Facebook’s trending news was over; VAXXED would disappear into oblivion without anyone outside of our circle ever seeing it.

But I was wrong. It turns out that the act of yanking VAXXED from Tribeca, and all of the praise from the media that came along with it, catapulted VAXXED from being a film festival selection that only our side and their side was talking about and launched it into the stratosphere of being worldwide news.

And this made me laugh.  I have seen Andy Wakefield’s name– or a reference to him as a debunked author of a fraudulent paper– in mainstream media articles one after another, day after day, since 2011.  It was never-ending.  I couldn’t imagine what it was like to be him and have his name used as a scapegoat in every pharmaceutical PR piece posing as journalism.

And that is exactly mainstream media’s self-made problem that came from crapping on Wakefield each time they were hired to write about parents who refuse to sign off on the flu vaccine or Gardasil:

In their attempt to make Wakefield a despised household name over the last half-decade, the media created a situation for themselves where they couldn’t not write about his movie being selected for Tribeca or its subsequent deselection.

They had no choice.  They breathed life into this monster PR machine whose job it was to chew him up and spit him out, so quietly ignoring his little 90-minute government movie while it withered at an indy film fest where only 120 people would have seen it wasn’t going to be an option on their table.

Anyone else in the entire world– literally, any one single person other than Andy Wakefield–  could have made this movie and had it shown at Tribeca and the media wouldn’t have made a peep.  This person could have put it on Netflix; they could have driven it all over the country and hosted Q&As. The Greater Good, Bought, Trace Amounts: all incredibly informative movies that got nada in the media.

But Andy Wakefield?  Well, shit.  Their hands were tied.  How could they justify trashing him for the past five years and continue to trash him in the future and yet not use their public channels to trash his movie?  Yes, it must be trashed.  Trashed over and over.  Trashed by pharma mouthpiece pediatricians who cause autism in children every day of the week. Trashed until it took on a life of its own and suddenly random news outlets like The Hollywood Reporter were writing the name “Andrew Wakefield” for the first time in their history, causing people who have never read a Forbes piece about the evil doctor to start wondering what the big deal is about his movie.

But of course, what’s happened is more than just the media getting caught standing around with their dicks in their hands.  The deselection from Tribeca– and its subsequent deselection from the Houston film festival– had the added ingredient of stinking of government censorship.  Was it the Rosenthal family’s relationship with the CDC?  Did the Houston mayor overstep– and especially eff up in having his office confirm in writing that he tried to have the movie pulled? Is “the listserve” that congratulated themselves for a job well done in getting it axed from Tribeca really our government in disguise?

And that whiff of “We want to control what you see” is exactly what has brought the Streisand effect to VAXXED.  Thirteen years ago Barbra Streisand wanted an aerial photo of the receding California coastline that included the back of her Malibu home in it to be removed from a collection of 12,000 photographs.  In all of its existence, the picture had only been downloaded six times– including twice by Streisand’s lawyers.  After she sued to have it removed there were 420,000 visits to the website to see her home in just one month.

In 2013 a Galaxy Samsung user made a video that showed that his phone battery had spontaneously caught fire because Samsung wanted proof before honoring their warranty.  For a freaking little phone battery. So the guy uploaded the video to YouTube, which Samsung demanded he remove before settling with him. They also demanded that he never upload anything similar, plus keep the terms of their settlement confidential.  Instead he uploaded their settlement agreement to his site and it got 1.2 millions views in a week.

It’s the Streisand effect. People will want to see exactly the thing you are trying to keep them from seeing.  When will they learn?  So here we are now with VAXXED.  The movie grossed $28,399 in its first three days while being shown on only one screen at only one theater in the nation. At $14.50 per ticket that’s almost 2,000 people filing into the Angelika in only 3 days.  Now its one-week run in NYC has been extended to three weeks, and it started playing at multiple theaters in Los Angeles yesterday. I guarantee you it will be playing in Chicago soon and will be right back in Houston where it will be a smashing success.

A Google search for two words — “VAXXED” and “movie”– now brings up half a million hits.  The #1 movie out of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016– according to NYC’s Timeout magazine– is All This Panic.  Go ahead and Google it, I’ll wait.  How many hits did you get?  Not even 1/10 of what VAXXED is getting.  Why not?  No Streisand effect.

So, thanks CDC and all of your multiple masks that you hide behind.  Thanks, Jane Rosenthal for being such an uptight control freak.  Thanks Mayor Turner for all of the Texas media coverage.  If MMR rates plummet and the media starts blaming Dr. Wakefield’s movie I hope you think of Barbra Streisand and all of the unintended consequences of your attempts to tell the American public what they can and cannot see.



  1. I think getting booted from Tribeca in the fashion it did, ensured its success… So I am grateful, and even more so that now big huge names that have a very large following are stepping forward… saying we want answers… the house of cards is falling, slowly, but it is falling…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Last night I saw Vaxxed in Santa Monica. It was a sold out house. Vaxxed is a very well made, well produced, professional film with a clear, simple message: the CDC covered up and suppressed evidence of a clear link between the MMR vaccine and an increased risk of autism.

    There are many facets of the vaccine controversy. It would have been easy to get off track from the message of Vaxxed, which is that Dr. William Thompson, a CDC senior scientist, came forward with documented, scientific evidence, and not anecdotes, not hearsay, not opinion, but clear, documented scientific evidence, that a study by the CDC did in fact reveal an increased risk of autism. But the movie stayed clearly on point.

    This film is not about Dr. Andrew Wakefield. The media’s attempt to discredit this film due to his involvement is simply a matter of “look over there, don’t look over here”. This film is about Dr. William Thompson and his interactions with fellow scientist Dr. Brian Hooker and their documented conversations, plus the supporting scientific data provided by Dr. Thompson to Dr.Hooker.

    I agree with Robert De Niro, everyone should see this film. I attended with a friend who is not involved in the autism world. She has some awareness due to hearing me talk about these issues and reading the things I post online, but she is not involved otherwise. She was simply shocked by what she saw. The message of the film, the simple, clear facts revealed, are so different from the drumbeat we hear over and over again in the mainstream media that there is no link between vaccines and autism. There is, and the CDC knows it.
    In fact, when the CDC’s own research uncovered this link, revealed in the film is that they actually held a trash can party to destroy these documents. It sounds outrageous, I know, but this really happened. Had it not been for the conscience of Dr. Thompson, who saved his data, this scientific fact would have been lost. But he did save it, and his conscience bothered him, and he talked, and this film was made.

    Dr. Thompson needs to be called before congress to testify. Remember all those tobacco industry executives who were called before congress who parroted the claim that smoking does not cause lung cancer? Well, we are at that same kind of moment in history. If this medical scandal is not dealt with soon, the escallating autism rate world wide will be the demise of our society. The projected increases in autism will bankrupt Social Security, there will be a severe lack of men to become fathers, there will not be an adequate work force, there will not be enough healthy people to populate the military, and even just the cost to care for all the currently autistic people who will lose the caretaking of their parents when they become too elderly or die will be staggering. This is not a small matter, and this is not just a problem for someone else. This is everyone’s problem.

    Subpoena Dr. William Thompson. Go see the movie.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Dr. Wakefield has been mercilessly attacked in the press for over 12 years. I remember when the littlemisshapen gnome of a reporter, Brian Deer, who by the way works for and services Rupert Murdoch in ways that would make Jimmy Savile blush, began his attacks in 2004. Googling “autism” on the off chance of finding some interesting article the first 50 hits were about Wakefield and not in a good way. Fifty articles and more poured out of the screen. I remember flinching. Most of us cringe if someone says something mean to us. And here was every mainstream media outlet lambasting Andy. Does the word clusterf**k ring a bell.

    I knew of Andy at the time, although I did not know him personally. At that time the U.S. autism community was more focused on the dangers of thimerosal. I wondered how he would survive. I wondered how anyone could survive such an onslaught. Dr. Rimland, no shrinking violet himself, told me Andy was the most honest, courageous man he’d ever met. That’s a lot coming from the man who singlehandedly overturned the “refrigerator mom” theory and openly talked about the dangers of vaccines in the 1960s.

    To me, there are three things the criminal CDC/Pharma cartel got wrong in their overreach to shut down VaxXed. First, they underestimated Andy. He cannot be bought or intimidated. He is one in a million. Second, the rise of a truly independent alternative media is starting to come of age. People are able to find out in real time what is happening, when, and where. People flock to screenings and post reviews. Third, the cartel began to believe in their own invincibility. Their hubris was so great it extended to calling for censorship. Wow! The First Amendment means a lot to Americans. There’s a reason it’s the First Amendment.

    The hypocrisy of mainstream media to call for censorship is the antithesis of why they exist. The brain trust that attempted to shut down VaxXed did more than shoot themselves in the foot. They shot themselves in the groin, the neck, and let’s hope the heart. I know Paul Offit has been behind the “rape and pillage and take no prisoners” Pharma philosophy of the last 10 years. Perhaps there will be a palace coup. They still hold the cards, but they will never again hold the moral high ground.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well said. While VAXXED has become a real breakthrough, let’s take full advantage of it. My only misgiving about its success is that Wakefield is publicly calling for safer and single vaccines. This does not go far enough. We need to demand an end to vaccine mandates. Only when parents can decide for themselves whether or not to vaccinate their kids, and to what degree, will we have an environment when Pharma and Medicine will need to ensure that the vaccines are safe and effective. And if they can’t meet those criteria? Well, then good riddance to vaccines.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That all sounds good but, this theory will also bring back the childhood diseases. I’ve already been in a debate regarding this film, and mentioned how I and many many others have lived through having All the childhood diseases, and that might be a better route than these poisonous vaccines.
      Just that alone, caused an uproar, my neighbors would rather have the dangerous vaccines and take their chances. (I didn’t understand that one.) I’am now called a tin foil hat tirade. I can remember when it was the Norm to get the childhood diseases.


  5. I hadn’t thought of that way– that Dr. Wakefield’s name being attached to the film was actually the boomerang that put the film on the media map as attempts to censor backfired.

    For years, some within the vaccine safety movement have regarded him as napalm and argued he should know better than to attach himself to vaccine reform-related projects if he wants to see them succeed. The realists thought he should be a realist. Thank God he’s an idealist or we wouldn’t be clinking glasses over this beautiful PR disaster.

    In any case, after we’re done toasting, we need to put the glasses down, fill them with proverbial gasoline and add proverbial rags because there’s no way industry and their culpable pet reps are going to allow truth to have its day here without a crackdown. Things may get uglier before they get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As always… on target! Wish you could run for president. PS Barbara is Barbra…LOL!


  7. I hadn’t thought about the Wakefield effect that caused this media hype. I thought it was more about the movie itself. Obviously I don’t quite realize how much hated Wakefield is.

    And it’s a known effect that once you try to forbid a movie or book, everyone wants to see or read it. The reason why “50 shades of grey” became a best-seller was the truckloads of controversial publicity. Else few people would have bothered reading it. If you really don’t want anyone to know about something, you best ignore it.

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