By Diana Jean Schemo
What is a giant multinational capable of doing to protect its brand, and how can its actions block public awareness and free expression? Those were the central questions raised in the Washington premier of Fredrik Gertten’s film BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*, which screened before a packed house at the West End Cinema Monday night, November 26. The film chronicles the efforts of the Dole Food Company to shut down Gertten’s earlier documentary on the company’s continued use of DBCP, a pesticide known to cause sterility in men, on banana plantations in Nicaragua, long after the U.S. government outlawed its use in the United States.
Following the film, 100Reporters hosted a brief panel discussion featuring Ken Silverstein, a member of 100Reporters and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, and Theodore Frank, a partner at Arnold & Porter who has represented PBS in major litigated First Amendment cases. Diana Jean Schemo, co-founder and executive editor of 100Reporters, moderated.
To listen to the discussion, use the player below: