Greenpeace hits toymaker where its movie is
Update: After a three-month campaign spurred by Greenpeace’s viral video, LEGO has announced it will not renew its contract with Shell.
LEGO is one of the most popular toy brands in the world. The LEGO Movie was the early surprise smash-hit of 2014. Both have inspired countless viral videos, usually in the form of homage or parody. But a new LEGO-themed video that hit the web on Tuesday is aiming for sad and ominous instead of humor. Depicting a diorama of LEGO figures – including LEGO Movie leads Emmet and WyldStyle – being consumed by an arctic oil spill to the tune of a downbeat remix of “Everything is Awesome.”
The (already controversial) video, titled “Everything is NOT awesome” is in actuality a production of Greenpeace, one of the most well known environmental-activism organizations in the world. What’s their beef with LEGO? As the video indicates: It’s about the oil industry – the Shell oil corporation, specifically – which the video describes as “poisoning our kids’ imaginations” at its conclusion.
Since 1977, LEGO has occasionally entered into partnership with Shell in which the oil and gas giant’s logo and other branding appears on certain gas/automotive-themed LEGO playsets (gas stations, tanker trucks, etc). Greenpeace has been leading the mostly successful charge to keep Shell from what it believes to be unsafe and environmentally-destructive drilling in Arctic waters. They contend that Shell is using its association with LEGO as a way to repair the damage done to their image by a series of accidents in 2013 (which largely led to the Arctic drilling ban), and have been “in talks” with LEGO on the subject. The video, which links to an online petition asking LEGO to end the partnership, is said to be in response to said talks “going nowhere” according to Greenpeace.
In response, LEGO has touted their established corporate commitments to the environment, but neither company has indicated that they have any intention of ending the partnership.