Over 100 high-profile celebrities including Riz Ahmed, Lena Headey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law, and Mel B have signed an open letter backing climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.
In the letter, they admit that they are “hypocrites” because of their high-carbon lifestyles.
“Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites, you’re right,” the letter begins. It directly responds to publishers including the Daily Mail and The Sun, which have run stories branding celebrities like Cumberbatch “hypocrites” for backing the climate change protests while continuing their carbon-heavy activities — the Marvel star, for example, is a brand ambassador for carmaker MG in India.
“We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints. Like you – and everyone else – we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm,” the letter continues.
The letter called for “systemic change” to the “fossil-fuel economy”.
Among the list of high-profile signatories were Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, singer Natalie Imbruglia, actor Sienna Miller, Alan Partridge creator Steve Coogan, and comedian Ruby Wax.
The move comes after police issued a London-wide ban on Extinction Rebellion’s protests. The group were later granted permission to challenge that ban in court. Since protests began on Oct. 7, there have been 1,711 arrests made by police, according to Metropolitan Police figures.
“The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us.”
Although the open letter acknowledges a disconnect between celebrities supporting the movement and their lifestyle choices, it told journalists that simply branding stars as ‘hypocrities’ won’t stop them continuing to campaign for action on climate change.
“The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us,” it reads.
“The media exists to tell the public the truth. Right now there has never been a more urgent need for you to educate yourselves on the CEE (Climate and Ecological Emergency) and to use your voices to reach new audiences with the truth.”
Then, the letter called for action and support for groups like Extinction Rebellion.
“We invite all people with platforms and profiles to join us and move beyond fear, to use your voices fearlessly to amplify the real story,” it reads. “Thousands of ordinary people are risking their freedom by taking part in non-violent civil disobedience. We’ve been inspired by their courage to speak out and join them. We beg you to do the same.”
The high profile individuals said they would continued to speak out about climate change despite the criticism they receive for their lifestyles.
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