Thank You For Smoking – Good talking, bad ethics

The film Thank You for Smoking illuminates the issues of disassociating business and ethics with more than a hint of dark comedy. Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is a man with a job that requires, as he puts it, “moral flexibility.” As the chief spokesperson and lobbyist for the Academy for Tobacco Studies, Nick receives and then spins blasts on behalf of the tobacco industry. He is also a member of the three person self-titled group “The Merchants of Death,” made up of a woman who works on the Moderation Council in the alcohol business, a man of the gun business’ own advisory safety group, and Nick himself. They frequently debate who has killed more people in their lifetime through work in their industry. Their commitment to these large corporations’ profit, which coincide with their own, exemplify shareholder theory to the extreme. Continue reading