First Sackler, now Bet365. The art world can’t keep taking money from companies that do us harm | Hannah Jane Parkinson

Gambling firms rely on addiction and misery for their business model. They shouldn’t be patronising the arts any more than fossil fuel companies

In Laura Poitras’s Oscar-nominated documentary, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, we watch as members of the Sackler family – then-owners of the pharmaceutical behemoth behind America’s opioid crisis – are confronted with the testimony of those affected. They sit impassively as a recording is played of a desperate mother’s 911 call after finding her son dead from overdose. Another piece of testimony is from Nan Goldin, the photographer and former OxyContin addict whose successful campaign for the art world to renounce Sackler patronage the film follows.

Thanks to Goldin and the activist group she leads, the Sackler name has fallen away from many of the arts institutions that named spaces after the family in exchange for its largesse. First the National Portrait Gallery in the UK rejected a £1m donation. Then the Louvre in Paris removed the name. Then the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Serpentine, V&A, the Tate, and the Roundhouse all followed suit.

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Category: Mental Health