The Sackler name has been erased from all buildings associated with Oxford University. This includes the Sackler Library, two Sackler galleries, a Sackler officer and a Sackler keeper of antiquities. The Sackler family, who founded Purdue Pharma, a pharmaceutical company that produced and marketed OxyContin, faced controversy due to their role in the opioid crisis.
For many years now, there have been calls to remove the Sackler name from various institutions, including educational and cultural institutions, as a response to the negative impact of the opioid crisis. Earlier in the week, it was noted that the Sackler name had been officially removed from all buildings at Oxford University, indicating the university has listened to student and faculty protests at the institution. The decision to disassociate itself from the Sackler family due to the controversies surrounding their involvement with Purdue Pharma and the opioid crisis has been championed by the Artist, Activist Nan Goldin.
The Sackler family, particularly members associated with Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company known for producing and marketing OxyContin, has been embroiled in controversy related to the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis refers to the widespread misuse and addiction to prescription painkillers, including OxyContin, which has devastated public health and communities. The controversy surrounding the Sackler family stems from allegations that Purdue Pharma engaged in aggressive marketing tactics and downplayed the addictive nature of OxyContin, contributing to the opioid crisis. The company faced lawsuits and legal settlements related to these allegations, including accusations of deceptive marketing practices and improper promotion of OxyContin.
The Sackler family, known for their philanthropic contributions to various institutions and cultural organisations, faced backlash and calls for removing their name from these institutions. The argument was that accepting donations or maintaining associations with the Sackler family would be seen as endorsing or condoning their actions related to the opioid crisis. Several institutions, including universities, museums, and art galleries, have taken steps to distance themselves from the Sackler name. Some have removed the Sackler name from their buildings or galleries, while others have discontinued accepting donations from the family or have implemented new guidelines for ethical philanthropy.
The Sackler controversy continues to be a topic of discussion and debate, raising questions about the responsibility of institutions to scrutinise the sources of their funding and consider the ethical implications of their associations. In addition, the fallout from the opioid crisis and the Sackler family’s involvement has significantly impacted public perception and institutional relationships with the family.
Several institutions in the past have taken steps to remove the Sackler name or disassociate themselves from the Sackler family due to the controversies surrounding their involvement with Purdue Pharma and the opioid crisis. Here are a few examples:
1)The Louvre Museum (France): The Louvre removed the Sackler name from its “Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities.” The decision was made to respect the museum’s ethical guidelines regarding the origin of donations.
2)The Tate galleries (United Kingdom): The Tate galleries, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St. Ives, announced they would no longer accept donations from the Sackler Trust and would not seek further funding from the Sackler family. This decision was made in response to concerns regarding the opioid crisis.
3)The National Portrait Gallery (United Kingdom): The National Portrait Gallery in London decided not to proceed with a £1 million donation from the Sackler Trust. The gallery cited the current environment around the Sackler family and the opioid crisis as the reason for their decision.
4)The Guggenheim Museum (United States): The Guggenheim Museum in New York decided not to accept any future gifts from the Sackler family. The museum had received donations from the Sackler family in the past.
Photo Wiki Commons Ralf van Bühren