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This week on the "60 Minutes" broadcast, we showed you our recent story about government agency whistleblower Tom Drake. Watch Scott Pelley's full report here. Whenever we broadcast a whistleblower story on "60 Minutes," conversation here often turns to the most famous and controversial whistleblower piece in the annals of "60 Minutes": Mike Wallace's interview with Jeffrey Wigand. Wigand was the tobacco company insider who blew the whistle on Big Tobacco in the mid-1990s, exposing the lies we'd all been told for decades about cigarettes. Formerly a research scientist for Brown & Williamson, Wigand was the first major tobacco insider to reveal that cigarette companies were consciously trying to get us hooked on nicotine, despite tobacco executives' public statements to the contrary. What's more, Wigand told Mike Wallace that his former colleagues knew all along that their tobacco products contained additives that increased the danger of developing diseases.
The Insider is a 1999 film directed by Michael Mann based on the true story of a 60 Minutes segment about tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand . [ 1 ] The 60 Minutes story originally aired in November 1995 in an altered form because of objections by CBS ’ then-owner, Laurence Tisch , who also controlled the Lorillard Tobacco Company . The story was later aired on February 4, 1996. The film stars Al Pacino and Russell Crowe , with Christopher Plummer , Bruce McGill , Diane Venora , Michael Gambon , Philip Baker Hall , Lindsay Crouse , Gina Gershon , Debi Mazar , and Colm Feore in supporting roles. The script was adapted by Eric Roth and Mann from Marie Brenner 's Vanity Fair article "The Man Who Knew Too Much". It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Russell Crowe), Best Cinematography , Best Director , Best Editing , Best Picture , Best Sound and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published . [ edit ] Plot
Edit Storyline Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court.
Edit Storyline The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins argument to defend the cigarette industry in the most difficult situations.
A Dutch documentary entitled “Minister of Tobacco” has recently been released detailing alleged links between the Netherlands Minister of Health, Edith Schippers, and the tobacco industry(which would be in direct violation of Article 5.3 of the FCTC). The documentary describes and provides evidence of Ministry of Health officials having made frequent contact with the tobacco industry.
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