London based Roundhouse Performing Arts Venue is the latest in a growing list of UK Arts Institutions to turn away funding from the Sackler Family and their trust.
The Sackler Trust is run by the Sackler family, members of which own Purdue Pharma, a company selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin. The business is facing hundreds of lawsuits in the US over its alleged role in the country’s opioid crisis, which kills more than 100 people a day.
Earlier this year The National Portrait Gallery became the first major art institution to refuse a grant from the Sackler family. The Tate group of art galleries followed suit two days later. The Louvre in Paris has removed all references to their name from their premises. In areas where the Louvre management was unable to completely remove the name, they covered it. The Prince’s Trust, a charity set up by the Prince of Wales to help young people into education, training and work, also announced that it would not accept any new donations from the Sackler family even if they were available.
For months, there have been activist protests around the globe highlighting such investments by the Sacklers, with mounting calls to erase their names from the world’s leading cultural institutions.
The activist movement that led the campaign against the Sacklers is spearheaded by US photographer Nan Goldin, who has a personal reason to tackle this issue: She almost died from OxyContin, becoming addicted to the drug after she was given a prescription for wrist pain. Her dosage was quickly upped from three daily pills to 18, which is close enough to levels seen in people who overdose.