Brad Pitt Photo: CFP
Activists have launched a campaign urging Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt not to make a movie based on what they call a biased account of Ecuador's battle with oil giant Chevron over environmental damage in the Amazon.
The campaign was launched after Pitt's production company, Plan B, bought the rights to a book called Law of the Jungle that chronicles the legal battle by the indigenous people of Ecuador's Lago Agrio region to win compensation for the mass dumping of oilfield waste between the 1970s and 1990s.
In 2011, an Ecuadoran court ordered Chevron to pay them $9.5 billion in damages, one of the largest environmental justice verdicts ever.
But a US court found last year that the plaintiffs' legal team, led by American lawyer Steven Donziger, conspired to win the case by "egregious fraud," including bribing a judge, writing the court's verdict themselves and secretly paying the authors of an ostensibly independent report.
Law of the Jungle delivers a harsh portrayal of the Ecuadoran justice system and of Donziger, a Harvard-trained lawyer whom author Paul Barrett wrote would "stop at nothing to win."
The new campaign, #BradDoTheRightThing, was launched by a group called Justice for Ecuador on the petition website change.org.
It said it was worried that a movie based on Barrett's book would "spread lies and misinformation about the destruction caused by Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador and undermine the efforts of the Ecuadorian people for justice."
"We invite you to do nothing with those rights," it said.
Chevron did not reply to AFP's requests for comment.