Ethical Issues in the Insider Essay

707 Words Nov 15th, 2012 3 Pages
Ethical Issues in The Insider

The Insider is a 1999 movie based on real-life events that happened within an unaired 1994 episode of 60 minutes on CBS. Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, played by Russell Crowe, was the Vice President of Research and Development for the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation and was not satisfied with the way that the third largest tobacco company was going. Wigand was then fired when he began to voice his personal opinion about how he did not agree with how the company was adding various chemicals to make cigarettes even more addictive then they already are. Lowell Bergman, played by Al Pacino, was the producer for 60 Minutes and comes into play when he sees how Wigand has a story to share with the world. Wigand
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The second ethical dilemma is Wigand’s decision to tell his story about the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation. The movie was made to show his struggle with how hard it was for Wigand to make this decision. He could not keep this kind of information from the public, especially after working with healthcare companies before being employed by Brown and Williamson. He felt personally obliged to tell this story because it could potentially save the lives of countless people. After he decided to do the interview, even knowing the criticism he would receive, the tobacco company then retaliated with campaigns about how awful of a person Wigand was, which then led his wife to divorce him. Wigand made the right decision, and many reasonable people would have done the same thing. There were obviously others who knew about the same information but were too scared of the consequences that Wigand unfortunately had to endure. The CBS interview, in the end, was aired to the public.
The third ethical dilemma within the movie is CBS’ decision to edit the episode Bergman made to not contain the Wigand interview. This decision was shown to cause many disagreements, and it was ultimately made to not include the interview due to the then current merging of CBS and Westinghouse. Even though 60 Minutes was a show specifically made for the public to show information that people would not normally know about, CBS also
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