Controversial vaccine film pulled from NZ cinemas

Controversial anti-vaccination movie, Vaxxed, has been pulled from some New Zealand independent cinemas after feedback from customers.

Four cinemas owned by or affiliated with Bridgeway Cinemas in Auckland, Tauranga and Upper Hutt have cancelled more than 10 screenings of the film.

The 2016 film was recently slated by Northland doctor and former New Zealander of the Year, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who interrupted a Kaitaia screening to tell the crowd immunisation was important.

Bridgeway general manager Steve Christodoulou told Newsroom the decision was made after feedback from customers.

“As a cinema we are a third party medium that allows people to put their material on our screens - both movie content and alternative content.

“We put it up saying this is going to be screening and we had a lot of negative feedback from customers.”

The screenings were to occur at Bridgeway Northcote Point, the Monterey in Howick, Rialto Tauranga and a cinema in Upper Hutt.

Spokeswoman for Vaxxed in New Zealand, Truly Godfrey, said the group would continue to show the movie here.

A screening was taking place in Nelson tomorrow night, she said.

She said Christodoulou contacted the group and offered to screen the movies.

“He contacted us a couple of weeks ago. The plan was to do 10 screenings ... then he had a meeting and called us a couple of days ago and they basically said they had to pull the whole plan.”

She said Christodoulou told her there have been about 40 complaints from customers, and that private security would need to be arranged at each location in case of protesters.

Christodoulou said he had contacted police as a courtesy to let them know about the screenings.

Vaxxed investigates the claims of a senior scientist at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention who says the centre manipulated and destroyed data on an important study about autism and MMR vaccine.

The film's claims have been widely discredited, and labelled anti-vaccination propaganda.

New Zealand now joins a raft of other countries which have taken the same steps.

Dr O’Sullivan told Newsroom today he supported the decision not to screen the movie.

His actions in Kaitaia were widely supported by other healthcare professionals, politicians and high profile New Zealanders.

“I think it’s a good thing,” he said.

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