“While some may find the Yes Men entertaining,” said a Dow spokesperson, “it is important to realize that these pranksters continue to communicate inaccuracies.”
Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men responded: “Dow lets people die from tainted water in Bhopal, yet communicates itself as a sort of corporate Mother Theresa. Nobody but a psychopath would find THAT entertaining.”
“We think it is a serious matter when people willingly misrepresent themselves,” said a spokesperson for the world’s largest oil company, responding to the film’s airing on HBO last week. The film will be in theaters in the U.K. beginning this Friday, August 7, and in U.S. theaters in October.
Exxon stopped short of calling the Yes Men outright liars, despite a scene in the film where the Yes Men, impersonating Exxon at a big oil conference in Canada, present the company’s supposed solution to climate change: a new biofuel called Vivoleum, made from the human victims of climate change.
“Exxon can’t actually deny that their actions are threatening to kill off millions or billions,” said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. “What else would they do with the victims?” (Also featured in “The Yes Men Fix the World” are interviews with members of free-market think tanks, until recently funded by Exxon, who promote inaction on climate change before Congress and through multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.)
The film is no kinder to Dow Chemical, the world’s second-largest chemical company. The film shows the Yes Men impersonating Dow live on the BBC before 300 million viewers, announcing that Dow will finally compensate survivors of the Bhopal catastrophe and clean up the tainted groundwater left in its wake. The film contrasts this stark reality with Dow’s “Dow Hu” advertising campaign.