Brazilian President Accuses Leonardo DiCaprio of Paying to Burn the Amazon

Leonardo DiCaprio: Oscar-winning actor, longtime Hollywood hottie, environmental activist…arsonist benefactor?

On Friday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused the star of financing fires being set in the Amazon rainforest, without presenting any evidence, Reuters reported, adding that the leader appeared to be commenting on social media postings that claimed that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had paid for images taken by volunteer firefighters that it then used to solicit donations, including a $500,000 contribution made by DiCaprio.

The actor, whose organization earlier this year pledged to help save the Amazon, has not commented. The WWF has denied receiving a donation from him or obtaining photos from the firefighters, Reuters said.

“This Leonardo DiCaprio is a cool guy, right? Giving money to torch the Amazon,” Bolsonaro told reporters in front of the presidential residence.

The right-wing leader’s comments mark his latest attempt to cast blame for the forest fires in the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

DiCaprio, who often calls for action against climate change, has posted on social media the Amazon fires, which have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of rainforest land across Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay, most recently earlier this week.

In August, his Earth Alliance organization formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund and pledged $5 million “to focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon against the surge of fires currently burning across the region.”

“100 percent of donations will go to partners who are working on the ground to protect the Amazon,” the group said at the time. 

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