Pink Ribbons, Inc.: The Movie

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“If people actually knew what was happening, they would be really pissed off.”
-Barbara Brenner, former BCAction Executive Director in the new documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc.

Billions of dollars have been raised through the tireless efforts of women and men devoted to putting an end to breast cancer. Yet, breast cancer rates in North America have risen to 1 in 8. “What’s going on?” asks our former Executive Director Barbara Brenner in Pink Ribbons, Inc. a new film now playing across Canada and debuting in the U.S. this year. 

The Toronto International Film Festival says: “Léa Pool’s devastating documentary about the industry and “culture” around breast cancer, addresses the rise of corporate involvement in fund-raising for charities … and the impact it has had on research into the disease. Powerful and incendiary, the film is an important and timely piece from one of our finest filmmakers.”

Thank you, Léa Pool, from the bottom of our pink ribbon-fatigued hearts, for making this movie. We need powerful. We need incendiary.

This film has been a long time coming. Based on Samantha King’s brilliant book of the same name, Pink Ribbons, Inc. pulls back the pink curtain on why we aren’t making progress in ending this epidemic. It’s a curtain we’ve been tugging on for over a decade through our Think Before You Pink® campaign, where we encourage people to ask critical questions about breast cancer fundraising. We are thrilled to see this message go mainstream.

Pink Ribbons, Inc. also shines a much-needed spotlight on pinkwashing, a coin we termed to describe when a company or organization claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Breast cancer has become big business—corporations look good by associating themselves with breast cancer, but how much does their involvement benefit women? As one woman living with metastatic breast cancer says in the film, “Our disease is being used for people to profit. And that’s not OK.”

This movie is a potential game-changer, showing just how much the shiny pink status quo has cost us—and how little we’ve gained from it. As an advocate says in the film, “For people to finally rise up and object, they have to be aware of the lies they’re being fed.”

Pink Ribbons, Inc. is debuting at film festivals in the U.S. this spring and we’ll keep you posted on where and when you can see it in theatres. In the meantime, get your free copy of our brand new Think Before You Pink Toolkit, which is a perfect companion to the film and, says, Samantha King, “gives both seasoned agitators and newcomers to breast cancer activism vital resources to change the conversation about breast cancer. Download it today and start changing the world, one pinkwasher at a time.”

When it comes to breast cancer, profits far too often are priority number one. This toolkit helps advocates like you challenge the status quo and make sure women at risk of and living with breast cancer come first.


  1. Posted February 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I so agree with all that is being said. It sickens me to see pink ribbon items for sale in mainstream stores when I know that the money for that item comes no where near a person with breast cancer or foundation fighting it. Pink washing is a sin, Breast Cancer being a business is a sign of the evil in our world. I am a 6 yr. survivor and am very skeptical and try to be careful who I donate to. As of January I decided to do something totally different. I started making beaded jewelry at the website above to sell and donate 25% of each and every sale to Casting for Recovery which is for survivors of breast cancer. I went on one of the retreats they sponsor myself and it was the beginning of a much needed healing process for me. I am just saying, this is one way I can contribute and know exactly who is getting and benefiting from my donations. I now feel as though Breast Cancer Survivors can have a shining experience during their recovery that will help them heal and remember forever. I made friends there I still have today. I will still give, I give to because of the awareness and joy they bring survivors everywhere they go. I too want to find a cure, it’s the question of where out donation goes so survivors was the next obvious group to help! Thanks for letting me speak out. Sherry

  2. Posted March 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad this film is being shown in the U.S. NOW is the time to change the conversation. NOW is the time to demand something better. NOW is the time to take back the ribbon.

    –Gayle Sulik

  3. Posted March 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Gayle 1 Million Percent and I WILL be at the March 28 screening in Huntington. Not only is it close to my present home, it is where I lived with my family for many years. Mom’s been there since 1972. We have FIVE primary breast cancers among my 2 sisters, mom and I. And no known BRCA mutation either. NOW IS the time. No progress, billions of dollars and my mom crying for all three of her daughters…. blaming herself for our diagnosis. I am demanding better for MY daughter and my nieces.


  4. Posted March 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I wish I lived closer to one of the screening sites. The closests one is 4 hours away!! Is there any other way to see it?

  5. caitlin
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Kim,
    The movie will be released in theatres in June, and DVDs will also be available for individuals to purchase further down the line. We’ll keep you posted via this website about how to see the movie.

  6. Merissa
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Finally! Someone else who understands! The stupid pink ribbon angers me, because there are so many “generations” now that see pink, think breast cancer like nothing else exists! Our children are dying of cancer and yet no one wants to support them because it’s sad to see a sick child, but the stupid pink ribbon is cheerful and doesn’t make you think of death, so it’s ok. Please TAKE BACK THE RIBBON! Help women, men, and children survive the nasty disease of cancer (no matter what type it is), and stop the fronting of an “organization” that does nothing to help find a cure or prevent a disease!!!

  7. Erika
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Will this been screened in Australia?

  8. Posted October 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I am from Australia and interested in getting a copy of the movie for here.
    Author of best selling “Have you got the guts to be really healthy?’
    looking to spread the word even further.


  9. Mohsin
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    What is sickening is that this crime is being exported to third world countries.

  10. Sushil
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:29 am | Permalink


    Is this documentary available for public screening. We would like to organize a screening.


  11. Posted April 26, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Your link is to the free toolkit is broken.

  12. caitlin
    Posted April 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for letting us know! We just fixed it. Here it is if you would like the toolkit:

  13. Kip Cleaver
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    If you want more outrage, I spent a tremendous amount of time speaking at and running local events for the American Cancer Society’s huge Relay for Life, as a way to give back, I thought, to the world that cured me of leukemia. Then I read this book – notice the word CRIMINAL in the title. Its endorsed by dozens of top scientists etc. All documented facts. They have NO real interest in preventing cancer. Guess who sits on their board and are their top donors?
    NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE and AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest

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