January 22, 2020: Autistics for Autistics, the autistic-led advocacy group, condemns the Canadian screenings of VAXXED II, a propaganda film that promotes hatred of autistic people and discourage parents from vaccinating their children against deadly diseases.
To find out what you can do to protest the screening of VAXXED 2 in Toronto, please see “Take Action” at the end of this post!
What is the antivax movement?
The anti-vaccination (antivax) movement is based on the myth that vaccines cause autism. Antivaxxers actively encourages parents not to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases. As a result of their reckless actions, the global rates of vaccination (number of people getting vaccines) has been going down.
What happens when vaccination rates go down?
Before vaccines were invented, diseases such as polio, diptheria, rubella and measles killed people in the millions. After vaccines were invented, people were protected against these diseases for several generations; in fact, for so long that some people have even forgotten how horrific a disease like polio or measles is. (These people make up the antivax movement in Europe and North America.) As vaccination rates have gone down, more people are getting sick from these deadly-but-preventable diseases.
Who is most harmed by the antivax movement?
Newborns, who do not receive most vaccines until they are a year old, are at a high risk of catching vaccine-preventable diseases from unvaccinated adults. Children whose parents did not vaccinate them are also put at risk of disease and death. There are also some individuals who medically cannot receive vaccines that rely on “herd immunity” (meaning, most people getting vaccinated) to keep from getting diseases like measles or the flu. When people don’t vaccinate, these people get very sick and can die.
Who is making money off the autism-vaccine myth?
While the myth that vaccines cause autism has been disproven many times, there are people who still make a lot of money claiming a vaccine-autism link. They go on road trips with films like VAXXED and take money from viewers. They also sell products and give interviews and conference talks for high fees. Some, like Joseph Mercola, make vast fortunes from selling the vaccine-autism lie.
How does the vaccine-autism myth impact autistic people?
The autism-vaccine myth dehumanizes autistic people. Antivaxxers make no mystery of the fact that they would rather their children risk a painful death from a horrific disease than to be like one of us.
The VAXXED movie series promotes this hate, portraying us an “epidemic” and an “injury”. Those attitudes spread with every screening of the film. These films threaten the dignity, safety and rights of autistic people.
How do films like VAXXED 2 impact public health?
We are facing a serious health crisis with a resurgence of measles and other preventable diseases because some people are not vaccinating their children. Children and adults are dying of preventable diseases because of the antivax movement.
When theatres show films like VAXXED 2, they compromise public health by discouraging vaccination. Those who profit from the antivax movement are replicating their ancestors’ genocidal actions, leaving the most vulnerable in our society to face severe health consequences and even death due to lowered rates of vaccination. The ugliest aspect within the antivax ideology (survival of the fittest/ ”measles is no big deal”) reflects a eugenics ideology that crosses all ethical lines in our society.
But isn’t this about learning all the facts and objectively making choices?
The VAXXED film series is propaganda: it is not objective.
What we do know, objectively, is that major pandemics are on the rise and we must have high rates of vaccination in order to survive them. It is everyone’s responsibility to help ensure herd immunity by getting vaccinated, including for the flu.
Why are autistic people leading the movement against antivax?
Because we are proud to be autistic and will not allow anyone to use our diagnosis as a pawn in their moneymaking scam.
Autistic people across the UK, US and Canada have organized rallies and letter-writing campaigns to venues screening the film.
Here in Toronto, we are encouraging people to:
Attend the protests: Jan 24 and 25, at the Kingsway Theatre, 6-9pm.
Visit the event page on FB here.
Call the theatre: (416) 232-1939
Write to the theatre: Manager, Kingsway Theatre, 3030 Bloor St W, Etobicoke, ON M8X 2Y8
Message: The Kingsway Theatre shouldn’t be showing VAXXED II. The people who made the film are making money off of lies about autism and telling people not to vaccinate their children–putting more people at risk of disease. The Kingsway theatre has a public responsibility not to run propaganda films that harm members of our Toronto community.
Thank you for standing up for our dignity, and for science!