Crawdads and Taters

Hollywood Workers Strike as Atomic Truths Go Up in Smoke

todayAugust 20, 2023 2

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As of recording this episode, the Hollywood Labor Strike is entering its seventh week. It’s the first time actors and screenwriters have been on strike together since 1960. And while 87 percent of SAG-AFTRA union members make less than $26,000/year, Barbie and Oppenheimer, together, have so far grossed $1.83 billion at the box office. This is the real-life backdrop for the release of these two summer blockbuster movies.

In this episode, we focus on Hollywood’s treatment of the atomic bomb in its recent blockbuster film, Oppenheimer. Because of the narrow focus of this film on Oppenheimer, the man, we feel it extremely urgent and necessary to teach a deeper history of the global and historical impacts of US nuclear proliferation.

According to the Union of Atomic Scientists, the doomsday clock is closer to midnight now (that is, closer to nuclear doomsday) than it’s ever been in human history. The United States has approved more than $120 billion (and counting) to Ukraine to fight a proxy war against Russia, while ramping up its hostile Cold War rhetoric against China. This corporate-backed government is taking us closer and closer to the brink of nuclear war with these two major nuclear superpowers. And it’s important to remember that there’s only country in the world that has ever used a nuclear bomb against civilians, and that country is the United States.

At this incredibly volatile point in world history, we find many of Oppenheimer’s historical omissions to be unforgivable. As entertaining as the film is, it is not the anti-war film that US audiences need in order to catalyze an anti-war movement and avoid WWIII. And given that so many people use Hollywood and the mass media as their main information source for US History, we feel compelled to clarify the historical record.

So join us for another episode, and become a patron at

Reading Notes

Is Hollywood Still Afraid of the Truth About the Atomic Bomb?: Greg Mitchell on “Oppenheimer”

Oppenheimer: The Real Plan for U.S. Nuclear Domination, Then and Now

NMPBS: ‘Forever chemicals’ found at Los Alamos

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety: Is Our Drinking Water Safe?

Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium: “Unknowing, Unwilling, and Uncompensated: The Effects of the Trinity Test on New Mexicans and the Potential
Benefits of Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

Revealed: How U.S. Gov’t & Hollywood Secretly Worked Together to Justify Atomic Bombings of Japan | Democracy Now!

The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It | The Nation

Downfall – Howard Zinn

Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, Volume I – Office of the Historian

Atomic Bomb Museum: Counting the Dead

The Holocaust and World War II: Key Dates

Geopolitical Economy Report: Atomic bombing of Japan was NOT necessary to end WWII. US gov’t documents admit it

Hollywood Studios’ WGA Strike Endgame Is To Let Writers Go Broke Before Resuming Talks In Fall

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