Wealthy Hollywood big shot justifies vandalizing Stonehenge

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Stonehenge during vandalism in June 2024

By Nick Pope
Daily Caller News Foundation

Hollywood writer Adam McKay is defending the climate activists who vandalized Stonehenge on June 19.

McKay defended the stunt in an email letter blasted out by Just Stop Oil, the disruptive British climate activist group that organized and conducted the Stonehenge protest. Comparing disruptive climate activism to the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, McKay argued that defacing a monument far older than the advent of fossil fuels using orange paint is justifiable due to the purported urgency of the “climate crisis.”

“Did you feel shocked when you saw Stonehenge turned orange? Good,” McKay wrote. “Disruptive actions like these are designed to break the 24/7 cycle of business and culture as usual. They are meant to make us ‘look up’ at our terrifying reality and jolt us into action. Because if we care about protecting history, monuments, art, culture, sports, and all the other things we love about our society, then we need to get off fossil fuels as quickly as humanly possible.”

“Taking inspiration from the most impactful movements in history, like the suffragette, Civil Rights, and labor movements, the organizers of this action were not aiming to achieve mainstream approval or popularity,” McKay continued. “Being ‘liked’ requires acceptance from the very institutions complicit in the runaway global heating caused by the fossil fuel industry. We have to recognize that traditional, non-controversial, inside-game tactics have failed, and that we are accelerating past 1.5C of heating.”

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Two activists affiliated with the group sprayed orange paint on the prehistoric monument using devices bearing some resemblance to fire extinguishers. The two demonstrators were arrested for their acts, according to National Review.

Just Stop Oil has drawn attention for protests its members conducted before defacing Stonehenge, a monument in the U.K. that is several thousand years old, according to English Heritage. Previous stunts have included disrupting major sporting events, attempting to break through the glass enclosure protecting one of the few copies of the Magna Carta left today and several actions at museums holding renowned pieces of art.

“Stonehenge was the perfect place to ring the alarm. Five thousand years ago it served as a place of healing, burial, and Solstice celebration for early Neolithic and bronze-age humans. It was a place to worship the Sun, and our beautiful planet,” McKay wrote in his letter. “I can’t help but imagine these ancient people would embrace the activists who temporarily defaced a symbol in order to protect humanity and our home, Planet Earth.”

McKay is a prominent funder of the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), an American nonprofit that funds Just Stop Oil by way of the A22 Network, a coalition of similarly-styled European climate activism organizations, according to CEF’s 2023 annual report and A22’s website. Other prominent CEF donors include oil heiress Aileen Getty’s charitable foundation, Abigail Disney and McKay’s fellow Hollywood fixture Jeremy Strong.

McKay was the director and executive producer of HBO’s “Succession,” and he also wrote popular comedy movies starring Will Ferrell like “Step Brothers” and “The Other Guys.”

Beyond Just Stop Oil and the A22 Network, CEF also funds disruptive protest groups in the U.S. American CEF grantees include Climate Defiance, which has consistently targeted Democrats and Biden administration officials, and New York Communities For Change, an outfit that has been involved in confrontational protests in the Hamptons and elsewhere.

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