Robert De Niro on the Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe film controversy and whether vaccines can cause autism in more susceptible children.
Robert De Niro has suggested his wife believes that vaccines are connected to his 18-year-old son's autism in an emotional Today show interview in which he defended the controversial film Vaxxed.
"I think the movie is something that people should see. I, as a parent with a child who has autism, am concerned. I want to know the truth," he told Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist. "And I'm not anti-vaccine, I want safe vaccines."
He added: "There are many people who will come out and say, 'No, I saw my kid change, like, over night, I saw what happened. I should have done something and I didn't.' So there's more to this than meets the eye. Believe me."
An overwhelming body of scientific research has found no connection between vaccines and autism.
When asked whether he witnessed a similar change in his son Elliot, he said: "My wife says that. I don't remember. But my child is autistic. And every kid is different."
De Niro, 72, said he "regrets" pulling Vaxxed from the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.
"There's something there that people aren't addressing. And for me to get so upset here today – on the Today show, with you guys – means that there's something there," he said.
Vaxxed attempts to call into question the scientific research that doctors say proves there is no link between autism and vaccines. The documentary is directed by Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist and medical researcher who presented the theory that vaccines are linked to cases of autism.
The notion has since been widely discredited and retracted from the journal in which it was published.
Medical researchers have raised concerns about the film and wrote to Tribeca Film Festival organizers urging them not to screen it.
"This is scientifically invalid and we were concerned that it was being dredged up – this fallacious concept, this myth – that vaccines are associated with autism, and because of Mr. De Niro's personal standing and the admiration people have for him as well as the prestige of the festival, it would be a kind of validation," Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical School, previously told PEOPLE.
Last month, De Niro revealed that Elliot, his son with Grace Hightower, has autism. He said Elliot was part of his original motivation for screening the film.
"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," De Niro said. "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."
Latest news: Donald Trump appoints vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert Kennedy Jr to lead vaccine committee see here: and read also:
See also: VAXXED: the ABC News interview that Big Pharma didn't want you to see
Official WAXXED moviesite:
Note: In support groups for parents of children with Lyme Disease, there is a high incidence of children who have suffered vaccine injury that is largely being ignored. We agree with Mr. De Niro that we need to better explore which particular children are at risk of injury, whether due to genetics, underlying infections, or perhaps the secondary conditions that infections like Lyme may cause (immune dysfunction and mitochondrial dysfunction for starters). Be sure to check out this compelling blog on the Lyme Autism Connection here:
See also the documentary "Life, Animated" – A coming of age story about a boy and his family who overcame great challenges (autism) by turning Disney animated movies into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood. Visit for more information.
See more video's and information about Lyme Disease here on Lyme Channel: