Cinema Libre Studios and Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed team threaten autistic autism mom

25 Jul

I am hesitant to write this. Not hesitant because I have any doubts that the actions of Cinema Libre Studios and Andrew Wakefield’s team are wrong. No, hesitant because it has all the hallmarks of people trolling for attention and free publicity. I do not like giving people like Andrew Wakefield or Cinema Libre Studio attention.

That said, I can’t let that stop me from speaking out. In this case Cinema Libre Studios, who are distributing the faux documentary “Vaxxed”, have sent a letter to Fiona O’Leary threatening legal action:


As you can read, the letter is not just on behalf of Cinema Libre, it is also on behalf of Andrew Wakefield, Polly Tommey and Del Bigtree (the main voices promoting “Vaxxed” and it’s misinformation).

Philipe Diaz (Cinema Libre Studios CEO) demands that Fiona not only “cease and desist from interfering with distribution of the film” (while giving no examples of actions of her interfering), but also demands that she “cease and desist…from making any statement to any person with regard to the film, Cinema Libre Studio and/or Autism Media Channel, its agents, representatives and/or employees, including Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree and Polly Tommey.”

Apparently Philipe Diaz is not above hypocrisy. Recall that the marketing campaign for Vaxxed relied heavily upon their ouster from the Tribeca Film Festival. They erroneously claimed that Tribeca “censored” Vaxxed and that Vaxxed is “the film they don’t want you to see”.

So, a film festival chooses which films to give laurels to (and which to not give laurels to) and this is “censorship” and bad. But someone criticizes the film and the film makers and this is grounds for legal action.

In case you weren’t aware, Fiona O’Leary is an autistic adult. She is the parent of 5, two of whom are autistic.

What is the most common theme you will hear from Andrew Wakefield? That’s right, “listen to the parents. The parents are right.”

Well, except for the majority of us who disagree with Wakefield. Then we parents are ignored or even threatened, right Andy?

When Vaxxed was rightfully removed from the Tribeca Film Festival and other festivals, Philipe Diaz erroneously called those actions “… a slap in the face to the First Amendment.” But when faced with criticism, Diaz demands silence.

Since you apparently don’t understand free speech, let’s explain this one to you, Mr. Diaz. Tribeca didn’t try to stop you showing your film everywhere. They just said that your film would not get shown at Tribeca and get Tribeca Laurels. Just as if you were responsible enough to have not picked up Vaxxed and not put Cinema Libre’s name on it, that wouldn’t be an infringement of free speech.

Telling someone they can’t even talk about you, your company or your clients…that’s a clear attempt to quash free speech.

Polly Tommey, so you won’t judge parents who murder their autistic children, but you will have your distributor send letters threatening legal action to parents who don’t agree with you?

There’s an example of someone who has their priorities mixed up.

Del Bigtree, song-and-dance man turned pitch-man for bad advocacy and science. You are basically branding “Be Brave” within your little community. Pat yourself on the back, Del, you are so brave. Threatening legal action against an autistic parent of autistic children. Don’t respond to criticism, use lawyers to try to quash it.

OK, Del, be brave. Start discovery now. Send Fiona the financial records for Vaxxed to show her how she could be harming your business. Send her all your group’s communications about Vaxxed and about Fiona so she can see that this isn’t just retaliation. That would be brave.

I don’t think you have the guts. You stand behind your studio and lawyers and send threats and demands. Hell, you didn’t even have the guts to apologize for telling people “now’s the time” for guns.

And to both of you–Bigtree and Tommey–at the end of your nonpology video you thank your followers for stopping an article in the Sunday Times. Really? So the whole “pot calling the kettle black” thing you have going here with faux censorship is a pattern?

You want “be brave”? How about standing up to an unreasonable threat? Because that’s exactly what Fiona did:

Team Wakefield, you could learn a lot from Fiona.

By Matt Carey

29 Responses to “Cinema Libre Studios and Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed team threaten autistic autism mom”

  1. autistasangeles July 25, 2016 at 22:32 #

    Reblogged this on autistasangeles.

  2. Yes. They benefit from attention. On the other hand how to teach a bully not to bully is to keep doing what the bully demands you stop doing as long as what you are doing is legal and ethical. In my opinion, and I am not an attorney, no defamation is involved as long as what we say about vaxxed is truthful, and I recommend that if we criticize them we do not do it in a meanspirited manner. Safety Pat.

  3. Yes. They benefit from attention. On the other hand how to teach a bully not to bully is to keep doing what the bully demands you stop doing as long as what you are doing is legal and ethical. In my opinion, and I am not an attorney, no defamation is involved as long as what we say about vaxxed is truthful, and I recommend if we criticize them we do not do it in a meanspirited manner. Safety Pat…

  4. reissd July 26, 2016 at 06:08 #

    I expect this will come back to haunt Mr. Diaz. It was an error.

    • wzrd1 July 26, 2016 at 11:50 #

      It was a grievous error, as it opens them up to litigation on a counter action, should they attempt a SLAP action.
      I received a similar letter in the past, from a different tool, I handed it to my attorney with instructions to initiate a counter action seeking $100 billion in damages to this veterans very first amendment right to free speech.
      It escalated to precisely one telephone conversation and the tool dropped the matter. My attorney was so entertained by the individual, he didn’t even bill me for the 20 minute long telephone call.

  5. cphickie July 26, 2016 at 06:55 #

    This is the same petty cowardice Bigtree, Wakefield and Tommey showed when they mocked adults with autism who were protesting outside a showing of Vaxxed ( Why doesn’t Diaz have the guts to send a bark letter to someone like you, Matt? This is rhetorical–they will always go after those they feel are weakest. I think they chose badly if they think Ms. O’leary is going to cave.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 28, 2016 at 01:45 #

      Sorry Chris,

      this somehow got sent to the spam queue.

      I have long since given up on trying to understand the “why” of what Wakefield does.

      The “what” is bad enough.

  6. Stefanie V. July 26, 2016 at 14:05 #

    You are as misguided as Fiona. And I assure you, you nor Fiona speak for Autism parents. It is so clear when someone has not seen the film, and it is such irresponsible (journalism) to write on a subject without all sides of the story. And if we want to talk about showing proof of money made, let’s follow Fiona’s money trail. It’s well known she is paid by pharma and a certain children’s hospital.

    • reissd July 26, 2016 at 14:13 #

      A. Can you provide hard evidence of your claim that Ms. O’leary is paid by pharmaceutical companies? Because my experience is that such claims are almost always made up. In contrast, there is hard evidence Wakefield, for example, was paid for supporting the vaccines cause autism claim.

      B. Since most parents don’t believe the myth that vaccines cause autism, Dr. Carey and Ms. O’leary probably represent them better than you. They certainly better represent and respect autistics.

      C. I assure you Dr. Carey saw the movie. But then, the claims in the movie aren’t new andDr. Carey has been examining them for years now. So even if he hadn’t, his points stand.

      D. I don’t consider speaking up against misinformation that scares parents from protecting children from disease and again abusive treatments being misguided.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 26, 2016 at 14:24 #

      What makes it clear I haven’t seen the film?

      Other than I disagree with you?

      For your information, I’ve seen it.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 26, 2016 at 14:25 #

      Your community used “it is well known” in place of “we’ve made these baseless accusations often and we believe them”

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 26, 2016 at 14:38 #

      So, do you believe that Vaxxed presents “all sides of the story”?

      Do you believe that in their personal appearances the Vaxxed team “present all sides of the story”

      Whatever you believe, the answer is a very clear no.

      That makes Vaxxed, by your own criteria, irresponsible journalism.

    • Scott Bunkelmann July 26, 2016 at 20:11 #

      As a parent of an autistic son, I stand with and share the opinions and sentiments so eloquently stated by Fiona.

      This myth that vaccines cause autism has been a distraction. The time to move on came long ago. It is time to stop seeing people with autism as damaged. My son is not damaged. Fiona is very intelligent and well spoken, as well as the mother of five. She, and all individuals within the spectrum deserve our respect.

      Some people will do anything to get publicity for propaganda disguised as a documentary.

      • Mike Sonnbar July 27, 2016 at 13:25 #

        Your post is the most pathetic, disgusting attempt by a Big Pharma publication relations firm to manipulate public opinion. Your post should be made illegal. This is unacceptable and you and the PR firm you work for should be in prison. Claiming to have an autistic child. Really? Really? Wow. I guess its anything goes, huh? No sacred ground anymore. Now you are obviously going to claim that you are not with a PR firm. So believable! DISGUSTING!!!!!

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 27, 2016 at 16:12 #

        My post should be made illegal.

        Thanks. Thanks for showing that silencing critics is just business as usual for your groups.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 27, 2016 at 16:13 #

        Now, what specifically in the above would you like to discuss?

        Or are you just another gutless hit and run commenter who throws insults rather than actual criticism?

        That’s another hallmark of your groups: a lack of courage.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 13, 2016 at 02:34 #

        You have already used
        Jamie Fikes
        Mike Sonnbar
        John Meyrs
        Dale E.

        and possibly more pseudonyms.

        So, your comments as “Joe E.” are not being approved.

        Pick one pseudonym and stick with it. Or go away.

        Also, contribute. Your comments are redundant. I get it, you think I’m a PR firm. Got it. Actually converse or I will just put you in the “automatically deleted” group.

      • reissd July 27, 2016 at 13:26 #

        I note you’ve pointed to nothing actually inaccurate in the post.

      • Scott Bunkelmann July 27, 2016 at 17:27 #

        Mike Sonnbar….A quick google search of my name would have told you enough about me to know that I do not work for “Big Pharma” or a PR firm.
        I have come to expect nothing less than abhorrent behavior from people like you. I guess when you don’t have facts or reason supporting your beliefs the only thing you can offer are false assumptions and baseless accusations.

  7. Julian Frost July 26, 2016 at 16:32 #

    Oh, Free Speech. I think XKCD summarised it best.

    • wzrd1 July 26, 2016 at 20:41 #

      @Julian Frost’s xkcd, is there a framing service where I could have that framed?
      I’ll put it right next to my wife’s many works of fine art. 🙂

  8. Judith July 26, 2016 at 19:08 #

    An except from Huffington Post Brian Boyko:
    The case of anti-vaccination is a startling example of a case where it’s not corruption that is doing the harm but a perception of corruption. The Anti-vax movement is large and growing, because of the perception, whether or not it’s real, of the FDA and Congress, as too corrupt to keep our kids safe. Parents know they cannot blindly trust their doctors or their government. But when the doctors and government happen to be right, as in the case of vaccination, they don’t have the credibility.

    So whether or not you believe Congress is corrupt (the balance of evidence suggests you should), reform is needed simply to eliminate this perception of corruption. We shouldn’t blindly trust our government, but we shouldn’t have to live in a world where Occam’s razor suggests that not trusting our government is the way to go.


    The above was originally posted on Brian Boyko’s Tumblr blog.

    Since Wakefield has lasted so long, I was wondering WHY? This article has given a partial answer. How about the fact that some parents think death from a vaccine preventable disease is preferable to autism ( seriously troubling.) Wakefield and his group are distributing propaganda for their own personal gain. Too bad there are not laws against yelling fire in a crowded theater or selling snake oil.

  9. lizditz July 29, 2016 at 18:35 #

    Jake has chimed in.

    “Autistic Rights Together (or ART as it is abbreviated) is a crooked basement-style group of special snowflake activists purporting to promote neurodiversity and “autistic rights”. It is a mean-spirited gang of character assassins against doctors and scientists whose opinions merely reflect the emerging science that autism spectrum disorders are treatable medical conditions caused by vaccination. When ART’s censorship and defamation activities are rebuffed, they resort to the familiar cry-bully tactics employed by so many trolls for the pharmaceutical industry. ART’s leader Fiona O’Leary has become neurodiversity’s Irish replacement for Kathleen Seidel: the proprietor of the dormant website and who has engaged in the same activities.

    O’Leary played a key role in ruining the practice of the late Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, who has contributed to significant research discoveries shedding light on vaccines’ link to autism. Now she is trying to block screenings of Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe, a documentary on how the government has covered up associations between vaccines and autism. In response, the film’s distributors sent her a much-deserved cease-and-desist letter.

    O’Leary has gone crying for sympathy to Jezebel blogger Anna Merlan of Gawker Media, which is now being sued into bankruptcy for libel. ART and Gawker couldn’t be a more perfect match for each other.

    But even more perfect than that unholy alliance is an online petition that has been started against “unqualified advocates” like O’Leary. Please sign and spread the word.”

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 29, 2016 at 23:31 #

      Jake is still writing?

      • shay simmons August 18, 2016 at 20:42 #

        If you have a liberal interpretation of what constitutes ‘writing.’

  10. Nancy August 18, 2016 at 15:00 #

    Wonder if the American mum who features in the You Tube clip “Vaxxed vexes mothers” will get a letter also?


  1. Cinema Libre Studios and Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed team threaten autistic autism mom – autistasangeles - July 25, 2016

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  3. Polly Tommey, she won’t judge autism parents who murder, but judges Fiona O’Leary for just criticism | Left Brain Right Brain - August 12, 2016

    […] Since then Ms. Tommey, through her film distributor Cinema Libre Studio, has threatened to sue an autism parent. An autistic autism parent. Fiona O’Leary: Cinema Libre Studios and Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed team threaten autistic autism mom. […]

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