Rainn Wilson changes his Twitter name — sort of — for climate change ‘stunt’
Instead of defacing iconic works of art to bring attention to climate change, actor Rainn Wilson is taking a stab at his name.
The “Weird” star and “The Office” alum reintroduced himself Thursday on Twitter with the name tag “Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson” in an effort to promote the work of sustainability group Arctic Basecamp — scientists who say they are “taking what we know about Arctic change to the most powerful audiences. In the call for a sustainable future.”
“We need world leaders to take action at COP 27!” Wilson tweeted, referencing the United Nations’ climate conference that kicked off in Egypt earlier this week. “The Arctic is melting at Millions of Liters per second, yet this problem can’t seem to make a name for itself, so we’ll make a name for it.”
In the video that came with the tweet, and included an image of the name tag, he said, “Hi there, I’m Rainn Wilson — or should I say: Rain Fall Heat Wave Rising Sea Levels and We Have to Do Something About It Now Wilson? Sorry to get so dark, so quick.”
The issue of polluters paying for the climate messes they create around the world is likely to dominate difficult climate talks in Egypt this month.
The sitcom star then added, “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” explaining that as the polar ice caps melt, “it drives up risks throughout the world, including extreme weather events that affect all of us.”
So, he said, as “a cheap stunt to help save planet Earth,” he changed his moniker on Twitter, Instagram and his “fancy writing paper,” where he showed followers that he edited his name on his stationery to say “Acid Rainn Kills Trees Wilson.”
He was unable to change his actual Twitter display name, he said, due to new owner Elon Musk’s temporary restriction of name changes on verified accounts.
Wilson, 56, then described himself as an “Arctic Risk name changer, which is going to be a game changer,” in line with the organization’s latest promotional campaign encouraging people to change their names on social media to send a message to world leaders and influencers about climate change.
Wilson already did the work for several high-profile celebrities, including Cardi B, Jack Black, Ty Burrell, Amy Poehler, Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio. In his video, he dubbed them Cardi the Arctic B Melting, Jack Black Carbon Is Killing Us, Ty-Phoons Are Increasing Burrell, Amy Poehler Bears Are Endangered, Harrison Why Not Drive an Electric? Ford, Samuel Earth Is Getting Hot as L. Jackson and Leonardo Di-Polar Ice Caprio Are Melting.
Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman and Rich Sommer are among the celebrities whose Twitter accounts have been suspended.
He also linked to a handy name generator provided by Arctic Risk, then swiped at new Twitter owner Musk for suspending people from changing their profile names on the platform after several celebrities criticized Musk by changing their names to his earlier this week and tweeting as if they were him.
Twitter’s verification page says the restrictions on display-name changes are temporary and needed “to minimize impersonation risks.”
One name Wilson didn’t attempt to change was that of his “Office” alter ego, Dwight Schrute.
Wilson made headlines recently while promoting his latest film, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” because he said that he doesn’t want to be remembered solely for playing Schrute, assistant to the regional manager on “The Office.”
I used to work in a museum, helping protect the art. Yet I understand climate activists’ rage.
“Obviously most people know me from ‘The Office,’ and they always will, and that’ll be on my tombstone,” he recently told Collider. “But I did dozens and dozens of roles before I played Dwight. I’ve played dozens of roles after Dwight.”
Wilson said that his favorite role — and the one he hopes his fans remember him for — is that of regular-guy-turned-superhero Frank Darbo in the 2010 action comedy “Super,” directed by James Gunn.
“We shot that super quick in Shreveport, scenic Shreveport, Louisiana,” he said. “But I think the combination of humor, darkness, tragedy, insane imagination, my brain gets touched by the finger of God. I think it’s an extraordinary work, and I’m really proud to have been a part of it,” he said.
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