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HBO's John Oliver aims at Sackler family, Stamford-base Purdue Pharma

Connecticut will receive approximately $300 million as part of the landmark settlement between Purdue Pharma and 13 other states.
Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
John Oliver speaks during the "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" panel during the HBO Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

CONNECTICUT, USA — Comedian and host of popular HBO show "Last Week Tonight" John Oliver took aim at the Sackler family and their Stamford-based Purdue Pharma on Sunday for their involvement in the opioid epidemic that has impacted thousands of people.

In the episode, Oliver discusses the Sackler family and the recent history of Purdue Pharma declaring bankruptcy, settlements, and lawsuits. 

One major concern "Last Week Tonight" outlines is Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy plan, which Attorney General William Tong and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal have said the Sacklers are using to evade government claims. 

"You would have thought that back then they got the message. Unfortunately, they did not. Instead of helping us put out a fire that they started, Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers poured gasoline on it," AG Tong said at the time. "The opioid addiction crisis, apart from COVID, is the worst public health crisis there. So, we are here today because what the Sackers are trying to do is an outrage."

In addition to Oliver's monologue about the Sacklers, the HBO show's team created a website that is a play on the family's pro-Purdue Pharma website judgeforyourselves.info to explain its side of the story. 

"I know that it does absolutely nothing to even the scales here but it does give me the tiniest bit of comfort to imagine it might irritate the Sacklers a bit to know that when people go to that site in the future, this is what they're going to see," said Oliver.

The "Last Week Tonight" website is called judgeforyourselves.com and shows the three episodes it has taken aim at Purdue Pharma dating back to 2016 along with Richard Sackler's deposition and transcripts of calls to the bankruptcy court from those impacted by the opioid epidemic.  

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