Stop BP polluters’ Shakespeare-washing


This 2010 video about the USA says about itself:

BP Funds Tea Party Climate Change Deniers

British newspaper The Guardian reports that BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favorites who deny the existence of global warming.

After BP’s and other polluting corporations’ greenwashing, now ‘Shakespeare-washing’ …

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today, about Britain:

Two prominent actors refuse to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as long as that theater company is sponsored by BP. Mark Rylance and Miriam Margolyes do not want their names to be associated with the oil corporation.

“I do not wish to be associated with BP any more than I would with an arms dealer, a tobacco salesman or anyone who wilfully destroys the lives of others alive or unborn. Nor, I believe, would William Shakespeare“, Rylance wrote last week.

Rylance, who was the first artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, eg, also wrote:

The arts sponsorship business is tricky. I would love nothing more than increased support for the imaginative arts, athletics and sciences of Britain. So I met with the environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, to find out if my suspicions about BP were wrong. “I worked closely with senior leaders in BP for more than a decade, intent on helping them radically change course”, he told me. “That work came to an end when I came to the incontrovertible conclusion that BP is neither sincere nor serious in addressing the climate crisis.”

He continued: “Together with other oil majors, BP has been accused of fully understanding the science of climate change as far back as the early 1980s, and downplaying and obscuring that science ever since, always in the short-term interests of its shareholders. Regrettably, its current leadership is stuck in the same pattern – all the time using philanthropy to hide its past and present culpability.”

The NOS article continues:

In addition to his roles for the theater, he [Rylance] has become famous worldwide in recent years through the Spielberg films Bridge of Spies, The GVR and Ready Player One. …

BP sponsors cheap tickets for young visitors to the RSC. Rylance thinks that is rich coming from BP, because young people have been protesting against climate change recently. “The RSC can give young people much more value than a cheap £5 ticket”, he reasons. “It could give them the support of Shakespeare in their stand against our addiction to energy dealers who would willingly destroy us for a quick quid.” …

The RSC is the second institute under fire due to links with BP. Earlier, other artists spoke out against the company’s involvement with the National Portrait Gallery.

This 4 June 2010 video from the USA about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster is called The Dead and Dying Animals BP Doesn’t Want the Public to See.

By Jamie Johnson in British Conservative The Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2019:

Miriam Margolyes has joined Sir Mark Rylance’s boycott of the Royal Shakespeare Company over their sponsorship deal with BP.

The Bafta winning actress, who has starred in Harry Potter, Call the Midwife and The Real Marigold Hotel has said she will not appear in any RSC productions while the company kept its sponsorship deal with the oil giant.

“Mark Rylance is absolutely right in his stance and I support it”, she told the BBC.

“I would turn them down as long as they are supporting something that is doing harm to the world.”

A team of researchers is conducting the largest-ever simulation of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill to determine more precisely where hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil dispersed following the drilling rig’s explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010: here.

3 thoughts on “Stop BP polluters’ Shakespeare-washing

  1. Pingback: Royal Shakespeare Company breaks with BP oil | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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