The Weinstein Company is the first motion picture company to include anti-smoking PSAs in DVDs
(DES MOINES) Attorney General Tom Miller said today that The Weinstein Company is the first motion picture company to insert anti-smoking public service announcements ("PSAs") in DVDs that depict smoking. Attorneys general have asked Hollywood studios to insert such PSAs.
Beginning with the December release of "Clerks II," the Weinstein Company's upcoming DVDs, which are distributed by TWC's exclusive home entertainment distributor, Genius Products, will include an anti-smoking "truth® campaign" ad created by the American Legacy Foundation.
"Clerks II" will include the powerful PSA titled "The 1200" - which depicts 1200 young people streaming through the streets to the skyscraper of a major tobacco company. Then the 1200 youth suddenly fall down dead. A lone surviving youth left stands with a sign up to the building, "Tobacco kills 1200 people a day."
"We are very grateful to Bob and Harvey Weinstein," Miller said. "Hollywood can make a huge difference in stopping youth from taking up tobacco. Most smokers get hooked when they are young. The Weinsteins have taken Hollywood's crucial first step to protect our kids."
Harvey Weinstein said: "As a former smoker, I feel like it's my responsibility to do everything I can to educate young people about the dangers of smoking. We really hope this initiative will have an impact with viewers across the country."
Last month, a total of 41 state attorneys general wrote to the CEOs of thirteen major motion picture companies, urging them to insert anti-smoking PSAs in all DVDs, videos and other home-viewing formats that depict smoking.
"We are very proud to be the first to sign on to this important initiative," said Bob and Harvey Weinstein. "The Attorneys General made a very sensible request, and we think the concept has a lot of merit." The Weinsteins added, "Hopefully our Company's decision to move forward will make other studios reconsider the idea."
The Weinstein Company was created by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films Corporation in 1979. The multi-media company has released many films, including "Derailed," "Wolf Creek," "Transamerica," "The Matador," "The Libertine," and numerous others.
The state attorneys general offered free and unlimited use of teen-targeted anti-smoking ads developed for the truth® campaign of the American Legacy Foundation, created pursuant to the 1998 settlement of the states' tobacco litigation against the major tobacco companies. As of this date, no other studios have responded to the PSA offer.
Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Legacy Foundation, said: "Our hope is that the Weinsteins' bold move sets a trend with other decision-makers in Hollywood. It is a simple way to prevent thousands of youth from smoking, and can ultimately reduce tobacco addiction and premature death."
Tobacco remains the number-one preventable cause of death in the United States, and 80 percent of adult smokers begin before age 18. Research has shown that teens are strongly influenced by seeing actors they idolize smoke on screen, regardless of the characters they play.