When Leonardo DiCaprio Was Pressured To Step Down As Environmental Ambassador Over Alleged Ties To Corrupt Businessmen
Leonardo DiCaprio Was Pressured To Step Down As Environmental Ambassador ( Photo Credit – Instagram )

In 2016, Leonardo DiCaprio made a powerful statement while receiving his Oscar Awards for his movie Revenant. The Titanic star said the movie symbolized man’s relationship with nature before noting, “Let us not take this planet for granted; I do not take this night for granted.”

Fans will know Leonardo DiCaprio leveraged his worldwide popularity as a movie star to raise awareness about Climate Change. His philanthropy landed him a UN Messenger of Peace role focusing on climate change in 2014.

However, in October 2016, a charity focused on protecting rainforests demanded that Leonardo DiCaprio step down from his role as a United Nations Messenger for Peace over his alleged ties to corrupt businessmen.

According to Variety, the Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund urged The Wolf of Wall Street star to give up his title amid allegations of his relationships with Riza Aziz and Jho Low.

These two businessmen were not only at the centre of the Malaysian corruption scandal but were also accused of contributing to environmental degradation within the country. Riza Aziz and Jho Low were accused of stealing billions from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund in the 1MDB scheme.

According to the charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation had received funds from Low and Aziz, who allegedly embezzled from the Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB. Aziz was also credited as a producer in Leonardo Di Caprio’s film The Wolf of Wall Street.

At the time, Lukas Straumann, director of the Switzerland-based charity Bruno Manser Fund, said, “Leonardo DiCaprio has consistently refused to explain his close personal and financial ties with key persons in the Malaysian 1MDB scandal.”

He added, “This is unacceptable. If DiCaprio fails to distance himself from Malaysian corruption, he should resign as UN Messenger of Peace for climate change. We can’t save the environment if we fail to stop corruption.”

Low was also accused of using 1MBD funds to pay off politicians who contributed to the country’s environmental degradation.

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