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Giant Opioid Spoon Delivers Protester's Message

Artist takes sculpture to Johnson & Johnson
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2019 6:45 PM CDT
A security guard, right, talks with artist Dominic Esposito after he dropped a sculpture of a large spoon in front of Johnson and Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J., on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – An artist protesting the addiction crisis made his point Wednesday with an 800-pound opioid cooking spoon, which he brought to the front door of Johnson & Johnson's headquarters in New Jersey. The 10-foot-long, four-foot-tall aluminum sculpture by Dominic Esposito had the J&J logo etched in the handle. Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572 million last month in Oklahoma when a judge ruled that its ads downplayed the risk of opioid addiction. Esposito said he delivered three spoons to other pharmaceutical companies and government offices, NJ.com reports. Two people helped Esposito wheel his spoon up to the building, then move it to the sidewalk at the request of police.

Johnson & Johnson issued a statement saying that the company didn't cause the opioid crisis. "At the same time," an executive said, "we recognize that the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue and have deep sympathy for everyone affected." Esposito said his brother has wrestled with addiction for years. "My mom would call me in this panic voice that she found a spoon in the house," he said, adding, "We are always hopeful he will win his battle one day." (Read more opioid addiction stories.)

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