The movie “Philadelphia” was one of the first mainstream films to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. That was more than 20 years ago.
The story follows a closeted gay lawyer in, well, Philadelphia who battles discrimination after his employer discovers he has AIDS. At the time, it was groundbreaking and eye-opening for viewers. It’s where many learned and understood what it meant to live with HIV/AIDS.
Yet here we are, in 2017, on the heels of an announcement that six of the top advisers on President Trump’s HIV/AIDS advisory board have resigned because “The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
The president, they said, “simply does not care.”
Two steps forward, one step back.
This massive failing by Trump has flown under the radar (see: Russia coverage), but late-night host James Corden had a brilliant plan to change that.
“Most of what I know about HIV and AIDS, I learned from the movie ‘Philadelphia,'” Corden said during a segment on “The Late Late Show.” “As I learned more, I started to care about it. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Donald Trump doesn’t care because he’s never seen ‘Philadelphia.'”
The audience laughed, but Corden was only partially joking. He had a great plan for getting the president to actually sit down and watch a movie that should be required viewing for the person in charge of disease research:
He sent as many copies of the movie as he could find directly to Trump.
He explains in the hilarious and powerful clip below:
“HIV and AIDS, it still carries a stigma for many people. And they don’t want to talk about it,” said Corden, visibly upset.
“And if you don’t talk about it, it makes it easy to ignore.”
So yes, this is still a huge problem. It deserves to be addressed.
Will Trump actually watch one of the copies of “Philadelphia” that show up addressed to him at Mar-a-Lago? (“The president’s never [at the White House]. He’s always playing golf!” Corden said.)
Unlikely. But just because the president doesn’t care doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
There are a lot of scandals and outrages with this Trump administration to talk about, but this is one we shouldn’t allow to go unnoticed.
If you want to find out how you can make a difference in fighting HIV/AIDS, start here.