Pfizer was reportedly one of the “lead sponsors” at yesterday’s 95th Academy Awards (the Oscars) – much to the annoyance of some social media users.
The pharmaceutical giant was heavily featured the ABC’s broadcast of the awards, which even included commercials for Covid drug Paxlovid.
According to reports, after a performance by David Byrne, Son Lux and Stephanie Hsu of an Everything Everywhere All at Once song the screen went black, and an add for Pfizers popped up.
The big pharma company has been criticized by some in recent times for prioritizing profits over saving lives. Whilst booster shots have been sold to wealthier countries such as the US and Europe, many regions in the developing world are still without vaccination.
Former secretary to the treasury, Monica Crowley was one of the first to express dissatisfaction with the sponsorship choice: “The 95th Academy Awards…brought to you …by Pfizer. Because of course.” she Tweeted.
American political columnist, journalist, and member of the conservative organization Turning Point, Benny Johnson was even less polite – “Of Course, Hollywood’s biggest self-adulatory cringefest of the year is sponsored by Pfizer”.
One of the most comedic comments came from (surprise surprise) another Conservative – Kevin Shea who said “Pfizer is one of the Oscars primary sponsors….they are everything everywhere all the time…any questions?”
In the darker corners of the deep dark web, conspiracy theorists went wild, with some people even claiming that Pfizer staged the infamous Will Smith Oscar slap to sell an alopecia drug.
Pfizers did not react to the allegations. On its Twitter feed it instead highlighted its own win – an award recognizing the pharmaceutical giant as one of the world’s most ethical companies.
It also highlighted another entertainment partnership – its partnership with Marvel. Pfizer partnered with the superhero franchise to celebrate the ‘everyday heroes’ involved in administrating the vaccine.
Should entertainment companies avoid aligning themselves with ‘controversial’ brands such as Pfizer? Or, in an increasingly polar society, do you pick a side and accept you’ll upset someone?
Send your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.