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NTI Launches “Make Nukes History” Campaign to Spotlight Nuclear Weapon Risks Ahead of Academy Awards

While Oppenheimer is History, Nuclear Weapons Are Not, say Advocates and Hollywood Leaders

LOS ANGELES – March 6, 2024 – The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) launched a “Make Nukes History” campaign today in Los Angeles, leveraging the attention on Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-nominated film Oppenheimer to elevate the conversation about the nuclear threat in the run-up to the Academy Awards. With billboards, a major art installation, an open letter from top artists in the Los Angeles Times, videos on social media, and much more, the campaign aims to raise public awareness about the civilization-ending risks posed by today’s nuclear arsenals.

Tomorrow, the Los Angeles Times will publish a signed letter from NTI in partnership with an array of artists from Oppenheimer cast members Matthew Modine and Tony Goldwyn, to Hollywood icons Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Viggo Mortensen, Emma Thompson, and Rosanna Arquette. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s grandson and activist Charles Oppenheimer also joined this call to action. In the letter, the artists and advocates said, “We want to raise our voices to remind people that while Oppenheimer is history, nuclear weapons are not. To protect our families, our communities, and our world, we must demand that global leaders work to make nuclear weapons history—and build a brighter future.” To read the full list of signatories, visit www.makenukeshistory.org/open-letter.

The “For Your Consideration: Make Nukes History” campaign is taking place across Los Angeles and includes, in addition to billboards, a mural in West Hollywood and more than 1,000 street posters, proclaiming “Oppenheimer Started It, We Can End It” and “13 Oppenheimer Nominations; 13,000 Nuclear Weapons” to underscore the nexus between the Oscar-nominated film and our collective responsibility to build a safer world.

“Robert Oppenheimer warned against developing even more powerful weapons and predicted that dangerous arms races would follow. He was right,” said NTI Co-Chair and CEO and former Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz. “Today, nine countries hold 13,000 nuclear weapons, a new arms race is underway and nuclear sabre-rattling has reappeared. We face huge geopolitical challenges—but political will is needed to bring us back from the brink. And political will is created when people demand it.”

On Friday, March 8, the campaign will host a large art installation at the world famous Original Farmers Market near The Grove in Los Angeles. The installation is being produced by the cultural change agency TaskForce and will be a part of a community engagement program that gives passersby an opportunity to learn about the threats posed by nuclear weapons and join the call for an end to the global arms race. It also will have broad reach online as prominent TikTokers with millions of followers will be recording live on the scene.

“Every person should be educated about the incredible destructive power of nuclear weapons. Understanding the threat illuminates a necessary path toward their elimination,” said actor Matthew Modine, a member of the award-winning Oppenheimer cast. Modine has also produced the new documentary feature Downwind about the impact of nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been directly harmed by radioactive fallout from the hundreds of nuclear explosions conducted on US soil. From the moment of the first atomic bomb test at Los Alamos, New Mexico our entire planet has been at risk. We need to stop this insanity.”

The campaign around Oppenheimer is among a number of awareness-building campaigns by NTI, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity. To mark the anniversaries of the 1945 atomic bombings in Japan, NTI partners with Hiroshima and Nagasaki on #CranesForOurFuture, a social media campaign where people around the world fold and share paper cranes with a message about why a world without nuclear weapons is important to them.

Yosi Sergant, who founded campaign partner TaskForce, said artists can have a huge impact on building energy for change: “Oppenheimer is one more example of the legacy of artists who use their talents and their voices to tell us hard truths, to sound the alarm, to hold us accountable, and to help us understand that a better future is possible.”

For more information on the campaign and to read the open letter, visit www.makenukeshistory.org.

 

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