After six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned last week, stating that the president simply doesn’t care about their work, James Corden took matters into his own hands. He sent the president 297 copies of the film, Philadelphia, to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago hideaway so that he couldn’t ignore it.
James Corden said he sent the film Philadelphia to the current president because much of his own education on HIV and AIDS came from watching the film. The 1993 smash hit stars Tom Hanks and was one of the first mainstream movies to deal with HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia. Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his role as Andrew Beckett, a man deteriorating due to HIV/AIDS and who sues his company for unlawfully firing him due to his condition.
In addition to plugging the 1993 film, James Corden gave some statistics about HIV/AIDS to the audience of his late night talk show, telling the audience that 1.1 million people live with the disease. He also stated that although we have come a long way from the stigmas in the 1980s and 1990s, there is still a significant taboo around the disease. Therefore, he says it is important that everyone learns to care about it.
According to Scott Schoettes, the HIV project director for Lambda Legal, Trump does not care about people living with HIV/AIDS and that this is a huge problem because it is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States.
Many who work in HIV/AIDS advocacy also feel that the new healthcare plan, which repeals Obamacare, specifically targets and makes life more difficult for those living with HIV/AIDS. The new bill would not afford care to those with pre-existing conditions, which HIV/AIDS would clearly qualify for unless someone is diagnosed after they already have health insurance.
The new bill, as proposed by the House Republicans, would also cut back on Medicaid, meaning many people with HIV/AIDS would lose much of their healthcare. As many as 40% of people with the disease rely on Medicaid to help them finance care for their ongoing illness.
James Corden is but one of many stars to speak out against the Trump administration, and at the very least, his stunt should get the president’s attention.
[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]