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Smoke Free Movies Hollywood Executives Testify Before Congress

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Hollywood Executives Testify Before Congress
Who's Who
Studios MPAA Producers Directors WritersEditorsActors     Property Masters

Corrupt or myopic, many people in the film industry have collaborated on getting tobacco into 75% of U.S. movies since 1999. Now that we know the deadly effect this exposure has on our kids, it’s time for the film community to adopt reasonable, effective solutions. Silence is no longer an option. The players:

Studios promote and distribute films. Once fiercely independent principalities, major studios are now owned by giant media conglomerates. If studios simply announced they would not distribute kid-rated movies with smoking, this problem would be solved tomorrow. Here are their scorecards on tobacco.

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is Hollywood's lobbying arm. Its job is to help the industry make as much money with as few restrictions as possible. The MPAA also runs the rating system. It could protect hundreds of thousands of kids by rating new movies with smoking "R.” Why won’t it?

Producers finance and package films. If they think smoking or other tobacco promotion makes it easier to raise money or sell the film, they will encourage it. If they think it makes their lives harder (for example, if it gives the movie an “R”) they will discourage it. Think they need motivation? Check out these track records.

Directors supervise the actual making of the film. They decide exactly what is shown and done on screen. Unless, that is, the studio gets involved. These directors delivered the most tobacco impressions to U.S. theater audiences in recent years. Why? Since 2004, more than twenty other directors have kept their multiple projects smokefree.

Screenwriters adapt or originate the script that tells the movie’s story, but most have no power to protect their screenplays from being changed. However, many writers with the most smoking characters since 2004 seem to be very much in charge: they produced or directed the film, too.

Editors take all of the footage shot by the director and assemble the final film, frame by frame. Smoking, particularly images of stars smoking specific brands, cannot appear on screen unless the editor selects the precise shot. Here are world-class editors who recently had to make those choices.

Actors smoke in a scene because the director invites or tells them to. Top stars may confuse their addictions with their gifts and think the smoking is their idea. Supporting actors, on the other hand, are just trying to do their jobs and get the next one. Here are the thirty actors most likely to be seen smoking on screen since 2004.

Property Masters are mentioned along with actors, directors and producers in tobacco industry documents about product placement in the recent past. Do they have the influence tobacco companies assume they do? If so, they can exert it to keep tobacco branding off the set. A list of Hollywood’s top tobacco brand wranglers.

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