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Sushigate — Jeremy Piven blames raw fish for Broadway departure; seafood scientists say something smells

Written By Administrator On December 23, 2008

Sushigate Actor Jeremy Piven, best known for his role in the “Entourage” television show, left the cast of the Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” last week claiming that his love of sushi — he says he eats fish twice daily — has given him mercury poisoning, according to a story in the New York Times. Piven had previously requested an early release from the show, his Broadway debut, because he was experiencing severe fatigue. (The playwright suggested Piven was leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.)

Piven consulted a doctor who eventually said there could be something to the mercury poison theory. But others say that sushi is getting a raw deal.

The Center for Consumer Freedom says that if Piven does have mercury poisoning from eating sushi, his would be the first documented case in the U.S. Further, they claim the health benefits from eating fish — in moderation — far outweigh any possible side effects. Some fear that Piven’s claims may steer people away consuming fish.

According to a calculator at mercuryfacts.com, an organization that apparently thinks mercury gets a bad rap, Piven would have to eat about 108 pieces of tuna sushi every week for his entire lifetime to reach dangerous metal levels. (Some types of tuna are known to have higher mercury levels than some other kinds of fish.)

Whatever the reason, Piven is out of the show (which received very good reviews) and will be replaced first by Norbert Leo Butz and then William H. Macy, who will play Piven’s role — one of only three in the play — until the scheduled closing on Feb. 22.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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