● Di Caprio began his career as an actor in the early 1990s with guest appearances on television programs like The New Lassie, Roseanne, and Growing Pains. He made his movie debut in the low-budget Critters 3 (1991), but his first significant film role came two years later, in This Boy’s Life, which starred Robert De Niro. Prominent among DiCaprio’s other major films were Titanic (1997), Django Unchained (a 2012 production emphasizing the evils of slavery in the antebellum South), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, depicting capitalism as a breeding ground for excess and corruption). For additional details of DiCaprio’s acting career, click here.
● For many years, DiCaprio has traveled extensively via gas-guzzling private jets and has socialized with people whose proverbial “carbon footprints” are among the world’s largest. For example:
● In his 2012 book, Hollywood Hypocrites, author Jason Mattera presents the following account of Di Caprio’s hypocrisy regarding environmentalism:
Hollywood producer Andrew Macdonald and director Danny Boyle decided to shoot the movie The Beach on the island of Phi Phi Le, just off the coast of the Thai mainland. The island is uninhabited, unsupervised, a designated national park, and at the time had no enforceable restrictions on the use of the island. Eco-warrior Leonardo DiCaprio was the star of The Beach. “Preservation of the environment has always been of utmost concern to me,” Leo assured the nearby Thai locals, “and I would never be part of any project that did anything to harm nature. I have seen extraordinary measures being taken to protect the island. And I pledge to remain vigilant and tolerate nothing less than these maximum efforts,” DiCaprio told Thailand’s environmentally worried citizens.
What resulted, say Thailand’s environmental protestors, was nothing short of a pillaging of the beach. Coconut trees were ripped up, dunes were bulldozed, coral reefs were damaged, and vegetation was yanked out. Protestors camped out on the beach, several hundred miles southwest of Bangkok, and watched as DiCaprio’s eco-pillaging took place. When a dozen villagers tried to peacefully stage a sit-in on the beach—something you would think Hollywood-types would support—a group of “thugs” who villagers say were led by government officials forced them to leave, sparking anti-corruption officials to investigate the head of the Royal Forestry Department’s decision to let the studio infiltrate the island. The indigenous people resisted, as residents of the island joined with twenty-nine nongovernmental organizations to protest after Twentieth Century Fox successfully gained permission to shoot after posting a $139,000 bond against environmental damage. “This [Fox’s actions] is actually a well-known method of forest encroachment by developers,” said the official statement from the protestors. “It turns natural, ecologically varied sites into coconut plantations. This is not making a movie. It’s an abuse of power.”
DiCaprio got his little feelings hurt. To hear Leo tell the story, it seems that a big, powerful group of bullies, Thailand’s environmentalists, decided to use him and his Hollywood comrades to gain media attention. “I’m a little bitter, just because it is a lie and people’s perception may be a little tainted,” DiCaprio whined in an interview in Hawaii. “It had a lot to do with the political propaganda that was going on in the country,” said the excuse-making star.
DiCaprio might have well been describing the fearmongering global warming hysteria that Hollywood hypocrite hucksters like [he] and Gore have beat like a drum. But the legal case brought by the concerned Thai citizens took a circuitous seven-year route that ended at the Thai Supreme Court. In 2006, the high court upheld a verdict of the appeal court and ruled that DiCaprio’s movie, The Beach, did, in fact, destroy part of the environment. But for DiCaprio, the whole thing was just a bunch of wild-eyed environmentalists exploiting the media to score environmental points….
“We were used as a test case over the ability of the forestry department to rent out islands to movies or for anything else,” groused DiCaprio. “We were targeted as this big Hollywood machine that came in and disrespected this island. A lie started and all of a sudden it just grew and grew and became something else and became widespread. That became the story, no matter what we said about it. There was no way we could contradict it.”
● In 2014, DiCaprio funded the production of a series of short eco-documentaries urging the abandonment of fossil fuels, the enactment of carbon taxes, and an increased reliance on solar- and wind-generated power. The first film in the series, co-written by left-wing activist/talk-radio host Thom Hartmann: (a) characterizes the fossil fuels that formed from the decomposition of dead plants and animals “over millions of years,” as “an ancient menace”; (b) falsely claims that “97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and caused by human activity”; (c) impugns oil companies for “making trillions of dollars” while supposedly pillaging the earth of its natural resources; (d) states that “we need to keep this carbon in the ground”; and (e) assures that “we no longer need the dead economy of the fossil-fuel industry.”
● In April 2015, it was reported that DiCaprio was planning to transform Blackadore Caye—his privately owned, uninhabited island located off the coast of Belize—into an eco-resort and conservation area. DiCaprio and entrepreneur Jeff Gram together had purchased the island for $1.75 million ten years earlier, and now they were ready to develop it with 68 resort villas and 48 private houses that they hoped to sell for $5 million to $15 million apiece. In addition, they planned to make a number of rental dwellings available for visitors to the island, for an estimated $2,000 per night. Emphasizing that he and Gram would also work to restore Blackadore Caye from the effects of prolonged over-fishing, deforestation, and coastline erosion, DiCaprio predicted that his project would be “groundbreaking in the environmental movement” and could potentially “change the world.”
● In July 2016 DiCaprio’s name was linked to a Justice Department investigation into a massive money-laundering scheme whose purpose had been to enrich top-level officials of 1MBD, a wealth fund controlled by the government of Malaysia. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had established the fund in 2009 in order to promote economic development projects in his country, but the fund soon fell into billions of dollars worth of debt. This debt coincided with a Justice Department finding that people close to Najib had stolen at least $3.5 billion from the wealth fund. According to a USA Today report, much of that money was used to purchase assets in the United States, “including luxury properties in New York and California, a $35 million jet, art by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, and financing of [the 2013 DiCaprio film] The Wolf of Wall Street.” When DiCaprio issued his acceptance speech for a Golden Globe award which he received for his Wolf of Wall Street performance, he thanked “the entire production team” and specifially named, as “collaborators” on the film, several individuals who were close to Najib and were implicated in the theft. In October 2016, USA Today reported that “DiCaprio says he’s awaiting direction from the U.S. Justice Department regarding any ill-gotten funds that may have supported his environmental foundation or [his film].” Moreover, DiCaprio released a statement pledging that he would return any donations of money that had derived from the Malaysian fund. In October 2016 as well, a Swiss rainforest charity demanded that DiCaprio resign from his post as a United Nations “Messenger of Peace” if he failed to reveal whatever financial ties he had to 1MBD.