Viola Davis and Merck team up to address Type 2 diabetes with documentary

The actress narrates a film about an epidemic that affects people in every community in the U.S.

Viola Davis has teamed up with Merck, for the documentary film, A Touch of Sugar, which addresses Type 2 diabetes.

Viola Davis
Viola Davis attends The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 Women (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter )

Viola Davis has teamed up with Merck, a pharmaceutical company for the documentary film, A Touch of Sugar, which addresses the health epidemic surrounding Type 2 diabetes, Yahoo reports.

On Thursday, the film will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. Davis narrates the project which is close to her heart because members of her family have been diagnosed with the disease.

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“Type 2 diabetes has taken a toll on my family. My great-aunt suffered from complications of the disease, two of my sisters are currently living with it, and a few years ago, I was diagnosed with prediabetes,” Davis said.

“It’s not something I talk about because it’s a disease a lot of us simply accept – growing up my family just called it ‘sugar.’ But, this must change. I want people to know that type 2 diabetes can have consequences. It’s not something to be taken lightly – we need to take it seriously if we’re going to get it under control.”

“I’m one of the 84 million American adults living with prediabetes and I’m sharing my story for the first time in an effort to inspire others to take action against the type 2 diabetes epidemic,” said Davis, spokesperson for A Touch of Sugar.

A Touch of Sugar is an honest depiction of life with type 2 diabetes that puts a much-needed spotlight on the real people affected by it firsthand,” said Conrod Kelly, Executive Director, Diabetes Franchise at Merck. “Although the disease is a result of a combination of genetics, lifestyle, and environment, there are steps we can take together to help reduce its impact on individuals and their families. With this documentary, Merck is dedicated to increasing awareness and inspiring action to ultimately confront America’s type 2 diabetes epidemic head on – one community and one patient at a time.”

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Merck spearheads a program, America’s Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals living a healthier lifestyle.

“The American Diabetes Association is honored to participate in this important documentary, which demonstrates the resiliency of the human spirit and contests the national perception of life with type 2 diabetes,” said Tracey D. Brown, film subject and CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “As someone living with the disease, I stand proudly with our community and encourage everyone to share what it’s like to live with type 2 diabetes, so we can awaken the world to the everyday realities of this disease. Everybody’s voice counts and matters.”

There are some 30 million American adults have diabetes, according to Merck.