Leonardo DiCaprio said he had nothing to do with funding groups that Brazil’s president targeted in relation to the Amazon forest fires.
The actor’s response comes as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused the actor of funding groups to fuel forest fires. “This Leonardo DiCaprio is a cool guy, right? Giving money to torch the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said Friday, according to Reuters.
DiCaprio said in a statement on Saturday, “At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage.”
“I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted,” he added.
At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment. The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted. I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians.
A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on Nov 30, 2019 at 7:48am PST
Bolsonaro claimed that DiCaprio had donated to the World Wildlife Fund, which he said was paying firefighters for images of forest fires to use in calls for donations. WWF confirmed that DiCaprio did not donate to them. Police have said people are intentionally starting fires in the rainforest in order to get money from nonprofits.
The largest tropical rainforest in the world, the Amazon is considered by many environmental activists to be important in the fight against climate change.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has pledged to give $5 million to help protect the Amazon. The foundation is seeking “solutions that help restore balance to threatened ecosystems, ensuring the long-term health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants.”
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