Canadian fossil fuel lobbyists accuse Netflix of ‘anti-oil propaganda’

Company claims film is ‘brainwashing’ children with ‘misinformation’ about the oil and gas industry

Namita Singh
Tuesday 16 March 2021 12:09
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<p>Government funded lobbying group in Canada said that over 1,000 people have written to Netflix raising concerns about negative portrayal of oil and gas companies in the film Bigfoot Family</p>

Government funded lobbying group in Canada said that over 1,000 people have written to Netflix raising concerns about negative portrayal of oil and gas companies in the film Bigfoot Family

The animated Netflix film Bigfoot Family has drawn criticism from a government-funded lobbying group in Canada for spreading “propaganda” against the oil and gas industry.

Alberta’s Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) has claimed that the family-friendly animated film, with a plot revolving around the fight to save the environment, is “brainwashing” children with “misinformation” about the oil and gas industry.

In a statement released on its website, the company said: “Bigfoot Family wrongly portrays oil and gas extraction to an audience of young Canadians and ignores the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible development.

“Our children are the key to the future – but they can’t succeed if they’re filled with misinformation.”

The company claimed that more than 1,000 Canadians have mailed Netflix Canada, raising concerns about the portrayal.

According to CBC, CEC was launched by the ruling United Conservative Party (UCP) in December 2019 with the aim to promote Alberta oil and gas and counter negative media portrayals.

“The film claims an oil company intends to use a bomb to blow apart a mountain landscape within a wildlife preserve, then flood a pristine valley with oil. All while lying about it,” Tom Oslen, the managing director of the CEC, was quoted as saying by local media outlets.

“It villainizes energy workers and disparages the industry’s record on and commitment to environmental protection.”

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The campaign from the company was ridiculed on social media as a display of insecurity.

Andrew Leach, a University of Alberta energy and environmental economist, said: “Canadian oil and gas boosters are so insecure that they’re worried that a show about Bigfoot might be mistaken for a documentary? Honestly, it’s a show about A BIGFOOT FAMILY and you’re concerned that people might imagine that it’s otherwise completely accurate?”

Shannon Philips, MLA from the New Democratic Party, slammed the UCP for the campaign against the Bigfoot Family film calling it an effort to use public “outrage” as a way to “raise money”.

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