Adam McKay Produced A ‘Star Wars’-Themed ExxonMobil Takedown That’s Even More Cringe Than ‘Don’t Look Up’
ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods is going to be soooo embarrassed when he hears that a guy in a Darth Vader suit says he’s going to “dap (him) up like we haven’t seen each other since middle school.”
Comedy filmmaking icon Adam McKay’s production company, Hyperobject Industries, released a video titled “A Love Letter from Darth to Exxon” in which an actor dressed as Darth Vader sarcastically praised Woods and Exxon for their half-century long disinformation campaign designed to obfuscate the impact of oil drilling and consumption on the environment. The video detailed how Exxon scientists understood the impact of the oil industry on the earth’s long-term habitability as early as the 1970s, but the company spent millions of dollars over decades on hiding those findings from the public and pushing false climate science. The full message is explained on the accompanying website, www.ExxonKnew.com.
The video is, ostensibly, a comedy sketch — and the oil billionaires are laughing all the way to the bank.
McKay himself had no part in the creation of “A Love Letter from Darth to Exxon” beyond the involvement of his production company, but the video does continue his streak of satirizing the individuals responsible for the climate crisis through slightly toothless comedy — 2021’s Don’t Look Up saw Leonardo DiCaprio struggle to summon romantic interest in two different age-appropriate women while the climate-action message of the film was muddled by the meandering plotline about his character’s rise to fame as a celebrity scientist.
This recent video shares the flaw of distracting from the point of the project with cringey attempts at cutesy comedy through its Star Wars references and internet-y quips like, “That is some unlock-the-bonus-level, cheat code evil shit you pulled,” and “Mad respect!”
Look, it’s hard to pull off political satire that’s both poignant and funny, and the intentions behind “A Love Letter from Darth to Exxon” are clearly noble. But there has to be a way to get this message across that’s slightly more biting and incisive than a sarcastic cosplay video. We can’t just cringe the climate back to health.