The East End Film festival have withdrawn Man Made Epidemic from their festival. I would like to thank them for their prompt and decisive action.
It’s only been just over a month since the Tribeca Film Festival debacle, where pressure from the science literate public and experts saw an anti-vaccine film, ‘Vaxxed’, pulled from the festival.
Well, another film is about to hit a Britsh film festival, with a similar anti-vaccine theme.
The film, ‘Man Made Epidemic’, recently released a three minute long trailer and if you were playing anti-vaccine bingo, you’d get a full house.
Did you see him? The King of the anti-vaccine movement himself! The disgraced former doctor, Andrew Wakefraud Wakefield. You know a film probably isn’t going to be of the greatest scientific quality when you have someone who lost their medical licence for ordering unnecessary colonoscopies on children and whom the British Medical Journal (and others) have called a “fraud”.
Wakefield, sadly, is just the tip of the anti-vaccine iceberg. Parental anecdotes (which are heartbreaking, but either unproven and disproven), claims of a CDC conspiracy to hide and alter study data and pointing to the increased diagnosing rates all appear in the trailer, too. All of which is supposed to point to vaccines causing, or at least in part being linked to, autism. You know the film probably has a slight agenda when their logo has a needle representing the “I” in epidemic.
Now, I generally hold the view that anyone should be free to make a conspiracy laden, fear mongering, anti-science piece of trash film if they want. What they don’t get a right to is an audience.
Unfortunately, the East End Film festival believes that showing this film, on June 25th, is a good idea for some reason*. It could be that they’re ignorant to the controversy regarding Vaxxed and Tribecca, or that they don’t care or believe there is actually a conspiracy and controversy that should be addressed regarding vaccine safety. I can’t speak for them, but I’ve emailed them asking for thier views and will update this post with any information that I receive.
A petition has been set up and it would be great if you could sign it. It’s important that the festival organisers realise that a lot of people disagree with this film being shown as it portrays a dangerous distortion of the evidence, that could lead to direct harm through decreased rates of vaccination.
The petitioner puts it very well,
“East End Film Festival plans to show Man Made Epidemic, an anti-vaccination propaganda film that promotes the comprehensively disproved vaccination-autism link, as shown here: http://www.eastendfilmfestival.com/programme-2016/17508/man-made-epidemic This is an extremely dangerous decision, as this propaganda is aimed at discouraging parents from vaccinating their children, which would lead into decrease of vaccine coverage needed to maintain herd immunity. It endangers not only the children themselves, but also persons too young or immunocompromised who cannot be vaccinated. This film must be pulled from the East End Film Festival programme.”
The East End Film festival has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The Festival Director is Alison Poltock (firstname.lastname@example.org) I implore you to contact them, being polite and not confrontational!
Sometimes a little thing goes a long way, when enough people speak up. Please, sign the petition or contact them directly. They need to know that this isn’t okay and that people all over the world care about science and that spreading lies about established science is dangerous and should be given a platform at this level.
* I note that the page has been removed from the EEFF main page, but remains on the cinemas page still – We still await confirmation either way.