It’s no secret that Hollywood celebrities and environmental activists often team up to tear down America’s energy industry. We’ve also known that some Hollywood activists are willing to sell out to Middle Eastern oil regimes to do it (see Promised Land). But now we know that Hollywood environmentalists aren’t just willing to sell out, but they’re eager to hide it.
An undercover sting operation exposed hypocritical Hollywood environmentalists who apparently have no qualms about taking secret money from Middle Eastern oil interests to produce anti-American energy propaganda films.
The video features an actor posing as “Muhammad,” a Middle Eastern oil sheik who wants to bankroll an anti-fracking film, along with a fake advertising executive working with Muhammad. The pair discuss a potential film with Ed Begley, Jr., an environmentalist who sits on the board of governors for the Oscars; Mariel Hemingway, Academy Award nominated actress; and Josh and Rebecca Tickell, award-winning directors.
In a phone conversation with the Tickells, Muhammad’s “ad executive” makes his client’s motives abundantly clear: “My client’s interests is to end American energy independence, your interest is to end fracking. And you guys understand that?” To which Josh Tickell, renowned environmental filmmaker, responds, “Correct. Yes, super clear.”
Rebecca Tickell tries to reassure the ad exec that the public would never find out that the funding for the anti-fracking film came from a Middle Eastern oil family with a financial interest in undermining American energy security. “We would never tell about where the funding is coming from,” she says. “That would be really awkward for us.” Josh Tickell adds, “Money to us, it’s money. We have no moral issue.”
In a separate meeting, the Tickells even suggest some environmental groups whose support could be purchased. Josh Tickell suggests the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), among other groups, adding “Yeah, they want the money.”
It’s little surprise the Tickells think NRDC would be willing to sell out. Hedge-fund billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer backs an anti-fossil fuel organization called the Energy Foundation, which has given millions to NRDC. Ironically enough, researchers have uncovered that Steyer’s hedge fund “minted a lot of money off oil and gas investments, among other environmentally destructive business ventures.”
Stating the obvious, Rebecca Tickell points out that an anti-fracking film funded by Middle Eastern oil “will not have that credibility.” The ease with which the Tickells appear to brush aside any moral issues about funding begs the question: how many Hollywood hatchet jobs against responsible energy development are tainted by questionable funding sources?
Toward the end of the video, Ed Begley, Jr., no doubt drawing on his vast wealth of experience in the movie business, offers a compelling comparison: “Washington and Hollywood are a lot alike—illusions, special effects, smoke and mirrors.”