Robert De Niro is removing the anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed from the lineup of his Tribeca Film Festival, after initially defending its inclusion.
Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Conspiracy, was set to be part of the film festival when it opened next month. The decision to include the film by anti-vaccination activist Andrew Wakefield came under fire, particularly since Wakefield's contention that vaccines have a link to autism have been discredited.
After De Niro on Friday defended the decision to include the film, he released a statement on Saturday saying he had reversed his decision.
De Niro, who has a child with autism, said he had hoped to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue "that is deeply personal to me and my family".
However, he said after he and Tribeca organisers reviewed it, "We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for."
He said members of the scientific community also had reviewed it with him.
The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 13 to April 24.