[Skip Blumberg raw tape for The 90’s]

Interview with Reverend Calvin O. Butts about his campaign to remove cigarrette advertisments from low-income minority communities.

00:00Copy video clip URL Static and blank.

00:09Copy video clip URL Cab driver talks about cigarette smoking.  He describes it as “suicide.” It’s not sexy.

01:05Copy video clip URL Various b-roll of people smoking and cigarette advertising.

01:52Copy video clip URL Continued interview with cab driver who says he used to smoke, but quit. The videographer, Blumberg, admits he smoked, but quit when Steve McQueen died of cancer. The two continue talking idle about smoking.

02:26Copy video clip URL B-roll, street scenes of people smoking. B-roll of cigarette ads. Blumberg asks another cabbie ho9w he feels about advertising cigarettes on top his cab. “It bothers me, but not that much.” He says he doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t allow people to smoke in his cab.

04:04Copy video clip URL Establishing shot: Philip Morris building.

04:15Copy video clip URL B-roll of Reverend Calvin O. Butt’s office: portrait photos, a framed Proclamation from City of New York, a membership sign for the Uptown Chamber of Commerce.

04:54Copy video clip URL Interview with Reverend Butts. He leads a campaign to remove cigarette advertisements from low-income minority communities. [Footage of Reverend Butts is also on tapes 11144 and 15831]. Blumberg asks: What’s wrong with cigarette advertising? Butts responds that it’s a lie. “It promises a good life. We’re taking a look at the negative affects of advertising smoking. We’re painting over billboards. We’ve had success in Central Harlem. In East Harlem they still proliferate, so we’re going there. We demonstrate at the corporate headquarters of Philip Morris. We told them we’d be demonstrating and painting them as the picture of a drug dealer.” Butts adds that other products people use, such as cereal and baked goods, aren’t advertised on billboards the way cigarettes are.

08:25Copy video clip URL Reverend Butts says when someone like him, a protestor, approaches a big company like Philip Morris, they insult you by not meeting with you when you arrive at their door. He notes their objective is to go in numbers to the corporate headquarters and ask to set up an appointment to talk with someone about their concerns. But the company won’t let them through the door to make this appointment. They tell them they have to call or write a letter to make an appointment. He compares the arrogance of Philip Morris to that of Pharaoh. Pharaoh refused Moses when he said ‘Let the people go.’ So, water was turned into blood to threaten Pharaoh. But it didn’t work. Then the first born of Egypt is struck dead and Pharaoh finally recognizes that the people mean business. In this light, Butts likes that Philip Morris thinks of him as a rag tag preacher from Harlem making noise. He gives a message to Philip Morris: “We are dealing with spiritual wickedness in high places. You think we can’t tie you up? Continue to smile and laugh … but we will tie up Philip Morris’ international corporate headquarters.” Butts adds that they have a moral responsibility to cooperate for a life of liberty and happiness and they sale of cigarettes and alcohol opposes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

12:18Copy video clip URL Butts notes that he is overjoyed with how the campaign is going. We have more and more people. We took children with us last time. He tells stories of walking past people on the street smoking and when they see him they put out their cigarettes. He adds he now has support from the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs in New York, the city’s Health Commissioner, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. “The Surgeon General agrees with me. Anyone with any sense knows cigarettes are bad for you. We are continuing to grow more militant in our efforts.” He says they are broadening their base, looking at politicians who take campaign money from these organizations. He notes that supporters in Paterson, New Jersey, Dallas, Chicago, and in other places are actively doing things to discourage cigarette companies, like painting over billboards.

15:38Copy video clip URL Blumberg records a man sucking tokens out of the subway turn style with his mouth.

16:55Copy video clip URL END.



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