The Hollywood Reporter said the announcement of the movie's elimination from next month's lineup came after De Niro was criticized by other filmmakers for supporting the documentary from Wakefield, a former British surgeon and medical researcher whom director Penny Lane dismissed in an open letter as a "widely discredited and dangerous anti-vaccination quack."
"My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family," De Niro said in a statement to the entertainment-industry trade newspaper.
"But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for. The festival doesn't seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, 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."