Friday, July 1, 2022

Brazil’s President Claims Leonardo DiCaprio Funded Group Responsible for Amazon Rainforest Fires

2019 Global Citizen Festival: Power The Movement – Onstage
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 28: Leonardo DiCaprio
speaks onstage during the 2019 Global Citizen Festival: Power The Movement in Central Park on September 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

*Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has accused Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio of funding the environmentalists responsible for the series of fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest this year.

Bolsonaro made the claim on Friday, reportedly telling supporters: “This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.”

According to the Associated Press, he did not provide any evidence to support his accusations against DiCaprio, but his comments follow previous claims that environmental groups were behind the surge of Brazil’s forest fires.

DiCaprio’s nonprofit organization Earth Alliance reportedly pledged $5 million in effort to reduce rainforest fires, many of which are deliberately set to clear land for agricultural use.

“Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said during a Facebook live broadcast, accusing the actor of being part of an international “campaign against Brazil.”

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The Guardian reports that Bolsonaro’s politician son Eduardo posted on Twitter that DiCaprio donated $300,000 to “the NGO that set fire to the Amazon” and accused the conservation group WWF of paying the NGO for photographs of the burning forest.

WWF’s Brazil office rejected the allegations.

“WWF Brazil rejects the attacks on its partners and the lies involving its name, including a series of lie-based social media attacks such as the purchase of photographs linked to a donation from the actor Leonardo DiCaprio,” it said in a statement.

As the Guardian notes, Bolsonaro’s attack against DiCaprio was met with ridicule among his political opposition.

“How desperate,”  tweeted Sen. Randolfe Rodrigues. “Our negligent and incompetent president – responsible for an environmental dismantling unprecedented in our country – wants to blame DiCaprio but won’t blame his own administration which is incapable of taking a single step without destroying something.” Another opposition lawmaker wrote that “Bolsonaro’s delirium has no limits.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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