The Hackademy Awards is a clever little PR trick done by a group called Scenessmoking.org to bring attention to the level of smoking in movies marketed to kids and teens.
One of the things that absolutely drives many of us anti-smoking advocates BATSHIT crazy is how Hollywood continues, in this day and age, evoke “cool” images of smoking … even though Big Tobacco supposedly stopped paying for product placement in movies 13 years ago. If you really pay attention, you will notice an absolute shitload of smoking in PG and PG-13 movies made after 1998 … and much of the time, that smoking is portrayed as “cool.” It’s fucking asinine and pisses me off. You can do whatever you want in an R-rated movie as far as I’m concerned, but if you can’t say “Fuck” twice in a movie and keep your PG-13 rating, then you shouldn’t be able to smoke in a PG-13 movie, either. Remember those ratings are really about marketing campaigns. They have nothing to do with freedom of speech or the first amendment or censorship. Some of us have fought long and hard to get automatic R ratings in movies for cigarette smoking, with limited success. The biggest problem is apparently a lot of Hollywood actors and directors (such as James Cameron) are apparently still stuck in the “Casablanca” mindset that smoking is still cool. Well, Humphrey Bogart died at 57 of esophagal cancer and that’s not so cool, is it?
Anyway, every year, this group picks their Hackademy winners and losers. The big winner for 2011 is “Inception.” (Interestingly, the group behind the Hackademy Awards hasn’t updated its website since 2010, but they did just put out a press release for what it’s worth.)
What’s interesting about this is Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a notorious three-pack-a-day chain smoker and smokes like a chimney in countless movies. In several interviews, he claims he has tried to quit, but had to stop using nicotine patches because they were giving him nightmares. Supposedly, he is now smoking cigars now rather than cigarettes. As crazy as it sounds, cigars are actually less carcinogenic than cigarettes.