×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney jumps on smoking ban

Studio to discourage cigarette use in films

Disney has made a commitment to Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, that it will discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in its movies.

Mouse House will also place an antismoking PSA on DVDs of any future film that does depict smoking, as well as work with theater owners to encourage the exhibition of an antismoking PSA before the theatrical exhibition of any such film.

In a letter sent to Markey, Disney prexy-CEO Robert Iger wrote, “The Walt Disney Co. shares your concern regarding deaths due to cigarette smoking. We discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in Disney, Touchstone and Miramax films. In particular, we expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney-branded films will be nonexistent.”

Iger’s letter comes in the wake of a hearing Markey held last month, when he pressed studios to eliminate tobacco brand imagery in movies and participate in antismoking PSAs. At that hearing, MPAA topper Dan Glickman promised to try to get studio heads to respond directly to Markey.

While Iger was careful not to promise to end smoking in Disney movies and to include in his letter the caveat that “cigarette smoking is a unique problem and this PSA effort is not a precedent for any other issue,” experts hailed the move. At a Media Institute luncheon on Wednesday focused on government regulation of commercial speech, Mary Engle of the Federal Trade Commission said it was “good corporate responsibility” for Disney to take such a step.

Disney should be “commended,” added Angela Campbell, a Georgetown U. law professor who has written about deceptive advertising aimed at children.

Dan Jaffe, exec VP of the Assn. of National Advertisers, which has sometimes chafed under government efforts to limit commercial speech, said, “Self-regulation is fine if it’s really self-regulation. It’s only a First Amendment issue when it’s forced.”

“Disney’s decision to take a stand against smoking is groundbreaking, and I commend CEO Bob Iger for this important commitment. Now it’s time for other media companies to similarly kick the habit and follow Disney’s lead,” said Markey.

In a policy effective for films commencing principal photography on or after April 16, 2007, Universal Pictures has also undertaken efforts to reduce depictions of tobacco smoking in its films that are rated for a youth audience.

More Scene

  • Michael B. JordanLAFH Awards 2019, Los

    Michael B. Jordan, Ronda Rousey Join Efforts to Help the Homeless

    Michael B. Jordan and WWE star Ronda Rousey were just two of the powerhouses that gathered in Hollywood Thursday night for the Los Angeles Family Housing’s annual fundraising celebration. The live-auction event, which brought together hundreds of top industry executives, philanthropists, and government partners, aimed to raise $2 million for LAFH, which builds permanent housing [...]

  • Ron HowardBreakthrough Prize, Arrivals, NASA Ames

    Ron Howard Talks New Luciano Pavarotti Documentary

    If one is an anomaly, two are a coincidence and three are a trend, then Ron Howard might strictly become a music documentarian after “Pavarotti” hits theaters. The documentary about the world-famous Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti comes on the heels of Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” and “Made in America,” a look at [...]

  • Cara Delevingne poses for photographers upon

    Cara Delevingne to Be Honored With Hero Award at Trevor Project New York Gala

    The Trevor Project will honor Cara Delevingne with the Hero Award at its upcoming TrevorLIVE New York gala. Delevingne has supported The Trevor Project‘s efforts to end LGBTQ youth suicide rates, in addition to using her platform to speak out about mental health issues, women’s rights and animal conservation. On screen, she has acted in [...]

  • Kristen Stewart'JT LeRoy' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Kristen Stewart: 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is 'Woke' but Still 'Funny and Weird'

    “Charlie’s Angels” has made the jump to 2019. Kristen Stewart, who stars in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot as one of the Angels, says the classic ’70s franchise has been updated to modern times without losing its pulpy action. “At one point I think we said it was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, [...]

  • Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro Slams Trump Administration at Tribeca Opening Night

    The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened with Roger Ross Williams’ documentary “The Apollo” at the iconic uptown venue which performers and Harlem community members call “home.” “You can feel the history, the echo of the entertainers,” Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a speech before the film. “In this administration, during [...]

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content