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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Hollywood summit on drugs 'realism'
Catherine Zeta Jones in Traffic
The DEA praised Oscar-winning film Traffic
The man leading the United States' war on drugs has met Hollywood executives to make sure movies and television portray drug enforcement in an "accurate and responsible" way.

The meeting marks another step in co-operation between Hollywood and US authorities after a series of similar summits on how the entertainment industry could do its bit in the war against terror after 11 September.

The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Asa Hutchinson, said he wanted to help make plots more realistic.

Director Michael Mann
Director Michael Mann was among those present
The agency may also give Hollywood true stories to put on the screen, the DEA said.

Heat and Ali director Michael Mann and representatives from the TV shows ER and Third Watch were among those meeting DEA officials.

The agency had "no intention of telling filmmakers the kinds of movies they should make or what their content should be," it said.

But it pledged to make information and resources more available to film-makers.

"We want to learn how the DEA can be more helpful in providing resources that will lead to getting accurate depiction of drug use and trafficking in movies and television programmes," Mr Hutchinson said.


There are stories DEA can tell that won't jeopardise agents

Chris Battle
DEA
DEA spokesman Chris Battle told trade publication Variety that the agency had been "too cloistered" in its past dealings with the entertainment industry.

"Our agents have been trained to stay out of sight and bring down the bad guys. Now, we want a culture of opening up a little bit," he said.

"There are stories DEA can tell that won't jeopardise agents or ongoing investigations."

Discussions at the meeting included the connection between drugs and international terrorism and the drug cartels in Colombia and Mexico, Variety reported.

Mr Battle said TV and movies were getting a "better grasp" of what was really going on in the fight against narcotics, praising the Oscar-winning drugs drama Traffic for its realism.

But it did not portray the DEA in the most flattering light, and they would have written the script differently, he added.

See also:

12 Nov 01 | Entertainment
07 Dec 01 | Entertainment
03 Apr 01 | Americas
26 Jan 01 | In Depth
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