As Hollywood honors ‘Oppenheimer,’ Hawley asks for attention to radiation exposure victims

Conservative Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has a message for Hollywood: Honor “the victims of America’s nuclear testing” programs as it prepares to hail the critically acclaimed “Oppenheimer.”

The film, which is up for 13 award nominations at the March 10 Oscars, tells a “compelling story” of these nuclear testing programs, Hawley writes in a letter to the governors of the Academy Awards, but “does not tell the story of the Americans left behind — still reckoning with the health and financial consequences of America’s nuclear research, after all these years.”

“These victims deserve justice through fair compensation from their government — and you can help by telling their stories,” Hawley added.

The letter is Hawley’s latest attempt to gain national attention for victims of radiation exposure — including those harmed by a nuclear waste site near St. Louis — as he fights for federal compensation. He threatened last year to hold up passage of the must-pass national defense policy bill without a reauthorization of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which is due to expire in June 2024.