Recently, Robert DeNiro has been vocal about his support for a controversial anti-vaccination documentary called Vaxxed, saying that he wants to know "the truth" about vaccines.
The truth, in this case, is of course that there is absolutely no evidence that vaccines cause autism, and the original study that claimed that there was a link was proven to use falsified data, which lead to the researcher, Andrew Wakefield, losing his licence to practise medicine.
Appearing on the Today Show, DeNiro said that the film "is something people should see", defending the film after it was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival line-up.
“There was a backlash which I haven’t fully explored, and I will, but I didn’t want it to start affecting the festival in ways I couldn’t see," he said, of the decision to pull the film.
“But definitely there’s something to that movie, and there’s another movie called Trace Amounts," he continued, saying that "there’s a lot of information about things that are happening with the CDC, the pharmaceutical companies…"
"There’s a lot of things that are not said," he concluded. “I, as a parent of a child who has autism, am concerned. And I want to know the truth... I’m not anti-vaccine; I want safe vaccines."
Shortly after making these statements, DeNiro and his wife Grace Hightower were photographed with a group of anti-vaxxers, including Jim Carrey, Robert F Kennedy Jr, and Trace Amounts director Eric Gladen.
Here are 17 other celebrities who have spoken out against vaccinations.
Actress Jenny McCarthy has been Hollywood's most outspoken anti-vaxxer, despite recently softening her stance to "not anti-vaccine, but pro-safe vaccine". McCarthy told Larry King that “we need to get rid of the toxins, the mercury—which I am so tired of everyone saying it's been removed. It has not been removed from the shots."
The comedian takes his anti-vax status very seriously, and revealed in an essay for HuffPo his belief that “the truth is... no one without a vested interest in the profitability of vaccines has studied all 36 of them in depth.”
The presidential candidate believes that current vaccinations are unsafe, but don't worry, because he's going to fix this problem (of which there is no scientific evidence) once he becomes President.
The Clueless actress wrote the following in her book The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning:
"According to Drs. Roizen and Oz…While there has not been a conclusive study of the negative effects of such a rigorous one-size-fits-all, shoot-'em-up schedule, there is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phone calls from parents claiming their child was 'never the same' after receiving a vaccine. And I personally have friends whose babies were drastically affected in this way."
The Dharma and Greg actress recently attended a rally against mandatory vaccinations, saying that when “you open up the door of taking away parents’ rights, you open the door to a Constitutional slippery slope.”
She also shared this petition to ban mandatory vaccines:
The reality star did not vaccinate her sons Camden and Jaxon, saying: "I understand both sides of it. I've read too many books about autism and there's some scary statistics out there. It's our personal choice, you know, and if you're really concerned about your kid, then get them vaccinated and it shouldn't be a problem."
In 2009, Maher spoke out against flu vaccines, saying: "Why would you let them be the ones to stick a disease into your arm? I would never get a swine flu vaccine or any vaccine. I don’t trust the government, especially with my health."
Sheen got so angry when his ex-wife Denise Richards won a lawsuit against him in order to vaccinate their daughters Lola and Sam that he paid the $380 bill with 7,600 nickels. Yes, really.
The Cruel Intentions actress tweeted that parents should have a right to choose whether they vaccinate their children or not.
The actor believes that “The efficacy of these shots have not been proven. And the toxicity of these things—we’re having more and more side effects. We’re having more and more autism.” As a result of his statements, Schneider was pulled from a series of State Farm ads in the US.
The real Erin Brockovich is less "anti-vaccine" and more "don't let the government dictate your life"... but essentially the results are the same.
Despite being an actual neuroscientist, Bialik describes her family as “a non-vaccinating family." Saying that she "makes no claims about people’s individual decisions," Bialik explains that her family "based [their decision] on research and discussions with our pediatrician, and [that they've] been happy with that decision".
"Obviously there’s a lot of controversy about it," she concluded.
The Smashing Pumpkins frontman is anti-vaccine, and posted a blog about Swine Flu vaccines in 2009 that said:
“If you follow some of the links I have been supplying as of late, you’ll notice many are focused on the propaganda build up to our day of reckoning with the Swine Flu virus. I say ‘propaganda’ because, in my heart, there is something mighty suspicious about declaring an emergency for something that has yet to show itself to be a grand pandemic. American President Obama has declared a national emergency about this virus, which he in his own words said was, at this point, a preventative measure. So, why declare an emergency if there isn’t one?”
For more information about vaccination
Immunise Australia Program
Immunise Australia telephone hotline
1800 671 811
Australian Academy of Science
Chain of Protection
Each State and Territory has basic information sheets on vaccines and infectious diseases:
Australian Capital Territory – ACT Health
New South Wales – NSW Health
Northern Territory – NT Department of Health and Community Services
Queensland – Queensland Health
South Australia – Department of Human Services, SA
Tasmania – Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
Victoria – Department of Human Services, Victoria
Western Australia – Department of Health, WA
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
Vaccine Information You Need (IAC)
Some sites of interest
Voices for vaccines – parents speak
Moms who vax
Myths and Realities
Myths and Realities
The History of Vaccines of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Autism Science Foundation
Hoax busting site
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