WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change, today announced the "Fight Forever Chemicals" campaign to coincide with the film DARK WATERS (in select theaters November 22, and nationally on Thanksgiving weekend) and Rob Bilott's new book EXPOSURE. The film stars and is produced by Mark Ruffalo and is inspired by a true and heroic story of environmental attorney and author Rob Bilott, who risked his career and family to uncover a dark secret hidden by one of the world's largest corporations to bring justice to a community dangerously exposed to deadly chemicals for decades.
Ruffalo and Bilott were joined by the bi-partisan co-chairs of the PFAS task force Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and a variety of environmental advocates from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and more to launch the campaign on Capitol Hill. The campaign will bring the fight against forever chemicals from the margins to the mainstream, demanding stronger protections from leaders in office.
"Right now our laws and public institutions are failing to protect us," said Ruffalo in a statement. "I wanted to make DARK WATERS to tell an important story about bringing justice to a community dangerously exposed for decades to deadly chemicals by one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations. By telling these stories we can raise awareness around forever chemicals and work together to demand stronger environmental protections."
"It is imperative that we use what we've learned about forever chemicals over the last 20 years and seize the urgency in identifying lasting solutions to this crisis," said Rob Bilott, author of new book Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont [Atria/Simon & Schuster]. "I am looking forward to the film and the book helping accelerate that change."
Forever chemicals, also known as PFAS, are a family of chemicals that do not degrade in the environment and accumulate in humans and animals over time. They have been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including infertility and cancer.i In the new feature film DARK WATERS, based on the New York Times Magazine article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare" by Nathaniel Rich, Bilott fights to expose DuPont's decades-long cover up of the toxic health effects of the forever chemical commonly used to make Teflon. Despite mounting evidence of their dangers and calls for regulation, related forever chemicals are still produced in the United States. Today, forever chemicals are believed to be in the blood of 99% of Americans, with firefighters and men and women in uniform at even higher risks of exposure.ii
"DARK WATERS personalizes an issue that impacts us all," said David Linde, CEO of Participant. "We're proud to share with audiences this important, beautiful film that has a unique opportunity to raise awareness about a pressing public health issue that impacts most Americans. With this campaign, we aim to ignite and energize audiences in the fight against forever chemicals."
The campaign is spearheading a day of lobbying and a screening of the film for lawmakers on Capitol Hill. From there, the campaign goes on tour to states where citizens are greatly exposed to forever chemicals including Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina and Vermont. At each stop, Participant will partner with local community organizations and change-makers to bring awareness of this issue to local policy leaders and legislators.
Fight Forever Chemicals is challenging companies in food packaging, grocery, home improvement, and outdoor apparel industries to remove forever chemicals from their products and shelves and will engage a network of influencers to amplify key messages about industrial pollution.
To learn more about the "DARK WATERS: Fight Forever Chemicals" campaign, visit www.FightForeverChemicals.com.
To learn more about Rob Bilott's work and new book, click here.
Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant (www.participant.com) combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today's most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today's "conscious consumer," representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus.
As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake. Participant's more than 100 films have collectively earned 73 Academy Award® nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant's digital division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com) is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting content that reaches an audience of over 9 million fans. Follow Participant on Twitter (@Participant) and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter (@soulpancake) and on Facebook and Instagram.
Nicole Martineau/Alejandra Buitrago
i Union of Concerned Scientists: A Toxic Threat