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Health

James Corden Sent Trump 297 Copies of an Old Tom Hanks Movie For This Really Good Reason

James Corden is throwing it back to 1993 to make an important point about 2017. 

In last night’s segment of "The Late Late Show with James Corden," the British comedian brought up the 1993 movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks, which is about a lawyer who is fired from his firm after contracting AIDS and in turn takes his workplace discrimination case to court.

Corden said that everything he knew about HIV/AIDS came from that movie, and he thought maybe someone else, someone in particular, could learn about the disease from the film too: US President Donald Trump.

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Trump has come under fire recently for failing to address HIV/AIDS since assuming office, and last week six of the 18 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned, the Washington Post reported

In a Newsweek op-ed, one of the members of the Advisory Council, Scott A. Schoettes, wrote, “we do not believe the Trump Administration is listening to—or cares—about the communities we serve.” 

During Trump’s inauguration, the website for the Office of National AIDS Policy disappeared into thin air, prompting members of the HIV/AIDS advisory council to fear the President did not intend to support HIV/AIDS research and prevention, the Post reported. 

As of this writing, the president has still not appointed anyone to lead the Office of National AIDS policy. Furthermore, as Corden pointed out in his segment, Trump’s proposed healthcare bill would “devastate all marginalized americans who are living with HIV and AIDS.”

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When Corden heard that six members of the advisory council had quit, he was “really upset about it,” he said in the segment. 

“We heard the news that six of the presidential advisors on HIV and AIDS, they resigned last week, which is sad in and of itself, but the thing that makes it really sad is the reason that they resigned,” he said, citing Schoettes’ letter.

Corden spoke of the stigma that still surrounds the disease. 

“HIV and AIDS still carries a stigma for many people,” he said. If you don’t talk about it, it makes it easy to ignore.” 

Worldwide, HIV/AIDS affects more than 35 million people, including more than 1 million children. In the United States, African Americans are far more likely to be affected by the disease, accounting for 45% of diagnoses in 2015, despite making up just over 10% of the US population at large, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Read More: Prince Harry, Rihanna Get HIV Tests to Help End Stigma

Corden himself noted that all of what he learned about the disease he learned through the movie “Philadelphia.” Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, he noted that perhaps Trump has not yet seen the movie.  

“Maybe Donald Trump doesn’t care because he’s never seen ‘Philadelphia,’” the comedian quipped. “In fact, I’m almost quite certain that’s what it is.” 

So, Corden and his team decided to take action to inform the President about the disease. 

They bought 297 copies of the film (“the most we could buy on the internet,” Corden said) and mailed them to Trump’s Florida club, Mar-A-Lago. He also encouraged viewers to do the same with old copies of the movie they no longer have use for. 

“We hope that if Trump watches ‘Philadelphia,’ he’ll hopefully understand two things,” Corden said. “One, Tom Hanks definitely deserved that Oscar and number two, we hope that he’ll realize that HIV and AIDS is something that you or any president of the United States, or any world leader for that matter, can never afford to ignore.” 

Let’s hope that Corden’s right, and that a good old-fashioned presidential movie night can make a huge difference for the millions of people suffering from this deadly disease