Do Don’t Look Up Stars Wish We Wouldn’t Look Now?

     “Do as I say, not as I do” is the main message that Don’t Look Up star Leonardo DiCaprio has sent to the public after being seen traveling the seas in a super yacht. Don’t Look Up, a movie produced to warn society about the dangers of staying silent about the climate crisis, hasn’t been doing its job. One would hope that actors in the movie had the same ambitions as the characters they play; however, Leonardo DiCaprio has proven that to not be true. The hypocrisy of A-list celebrities can drastically undermine the message of the movie they’re starring in or the product they are endorsing. But why are celebrities doing this, and how dangerous can this really be? 

     According to an article produced by Forbes, the main reason why celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio do these hypocritical acts is merely because they can. Celebrities want to flash their special status essentially saying, “you can’t do this, but I can because I’m famous.” Many people find this upsetting, as they feel that these celebrities are telling them what to do but not living as an  example. For instance, Leonardo Dicpario, Katy Perry, Chris Martin, Harry Styles, and many more flew by private jet to a Google conference to discuss the issue of climate change. Even Prince Harry and Megan Markle, who are big advocates for climate change, have been seen flying around the world in their own private jets. While celebrities try to say that their actions are accidental, non-famous people believe that celebrities have been hypocritical about climate change and other social issues for decades. With the climate crisis becoming more evident, more and more celebrities are expected to jump on this bandwagon. 

     Even if these celebrities are  apologizing for their actions, it still doesn’t take away from the damage that has already been done to our earth. Right after the former Duke of Sussex tweeted “With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference,” he and Megan Markle set off to Ibiza, Spain and then to Nice, France. The BBC calculated that those two flights alone produced six times more carbon emissions than the average Briton does each year. What’s even more shocking is that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was seen sailing on a yacht from Monaco to New York. Greta likes to set an example for society by showing ways on how to live without emitting carbon, but not even Greta herself can live a life without it. Her trip emitted four times more emissions than flying because her crew was flying back home after. Going back to DiCaprio, his trip to St. Barts on the super yacht produced 238 kg of carbon dioxide per mile, which is the same amount as an average British car would emit over the span of two months. 

     Ignorance is also at work here, as many celebrities don’t seem to be aware that they are the ones, not everyday people, who are burning huge amounts of fossil fuels. Another huge problem is that many celebrities never really pledged to stop what they were doing, they were simply asking us to. To add on, people and the media wouldn’t be calling these celebrities hypocrites if they hadn’t commented on climate change in the first place. 

     Even with all this backlash, Don’t Look Up has made people more aware of the issues at hand. One of the ways that we can help the climate crisis is by stopping performative activism. While tweeting or reposting something on Instagram won’t stop climate change, subtle changes to our everyday lives can. Turning off the lights when we aren’t using them, reducing time spent driving, or using a refillable water bottle are all ways that we can help out. In the words of Francois Hollande, “We have a single mission: to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation.”