Rayon has spoken.
Fresh off his Oscar win, Jared Leto has publicly pooh-poohed the extension of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which currently runs from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska and Illinois. And so begins the post-Oscar scramble for relevance.
Right now, there’s a massive protest going on in DC denouncing the oil transport system and urging the Obama Administration to reject its permit. A group of 14 leaders, Leto proudly among them, has submitted a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. It reads:
In 1971, when you were roughly our age, you asked, How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? The penetrating moral clarity of the question made it a turning point in the nation’s debate over the Vietnam War. You stood resolute, making history’s judgment inescapably clear, and inviting America to stand, at last, on the right side of that judgment.
We stand at such a point today, with respect to an even greater challenge, an even bigger mistake — the imminent threat of catastrophic climate disruption. Your recommendation on the Keystone XL pipeline permit can help correct the course for our future, and all humanity’s. We dare to believe that it’s not just an accident of history that this recommendation falls to you.
Is Leto’s place among the signatories a post-Oscar PR stunt? Or does the bedroom-eyed frontman of douchey band 30 Seconds to Mars really care about our the detrimental state of our nation’s oil supply and its effects on the environment? Well, his parents were hippies, and in 2008, he decried animal cruelty in support of Prop 2. In 2010, Leto fought for wild tigers alongside the World Wide Fund. Mars has backed Haiti relief funds, Habitat for Humanity and other causes. So there’s a history of philanthropy here.
But the big question that this does not answer? Are you coming back to movies, Jared, or hoping to fade from the limelight hard and fast? I hear 30 Seconds to Mars is looking for a guitarist.