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Tony Goldwyn, Jane Fonda, Matthew Modine and More Sign Open Letter Ahead of Oscars to “Make Nukes History”

Ahead of the 2024 Oscars, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) launched its “Make Nukes History” campaign in Los Angeles, using the nominated film Oppenheimer to expand the conversation on nuclear threats.

As explained on the NTI’s official site, the campaign involves billboards, an art installation, street posters and an open letter signed by various stars, calling for the use of nuclear weapons to be ceased.

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In a statement shared with the announcement of the campaign, Matthew Modine, who was part of Oppenheimer‘s cast, writes, “Every person should be educated about the incredible destructive power of nuclear weapons. Understanding the threat illuminates a necessary path toward their elimination.”

Modine adds, “Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been directly harmed by radioactive fallout from the hundreds of nuclear explosions conducted on U.S. 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.”

Those who signed the open letter also include Jane Fonda, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Douglas, Alan Cumming, Bill Nye, Lily Tomlin, Julianne Moore, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, Emma Thompson, Rosanna Arquette, Viggo Mortensen and J. Robert Oppenheimer’s grandson, Charles Oppenheimer.

The open letter reads, “Oppenheimer depicts the origin story of nuclear weapons, the history of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Oppenheimer’s subsequent warnings against an arms race and the development of even more powerful weapons. Oppenheimer was right to warn us. Today, 13,000 nuclear weapons are held by nine countries. Some are 80 times more powerful than the ones that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.”

It continues, “As artists and advocates, we want to raise our voices to remind people that while Oppenheimer is history, nuclear weapons are not. At a time of great uncertainty, even one nuclear weapon — on land, under the sea, in the air, or in space — is too many. 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.”

Christopher Nolan’s best picture nominee chronicles the Manhattan Project’s creation of nuclear weapons and the emotional and political fallout for the people who built them. The cautionary tale is inspired by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s biography about J. Robert Oppenheimer, American Prometheus. A few months before the film came out, the United Nations explained that the risk of nuclear weapons use was higher now than at any point since the Cold War.

The art installation, which is produced by the cultural change agency TaskForce, will take place at the Original Farmers Market on March 8. According to the NTI, it 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 will also feature “prominent TikTokers with millions of followers” recording the installation live at the scene.

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