She’s crossed the ocean in an environmentally friendly boat, brow-beaten world leaders at the United Nations and launched a string of global student protests demanding immediate action to protect the environment.
And yet, some people just can’t handle the fact that she’s a 16-year-old with autism.
U.S. President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg on Twitter after her UN appearance. People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier called Thunberg “mentally unstable” earlier this month. Fox News contributor Michael J. Knowles said she was “mentally ill” after her attention-grabbing speech at the UN, prompting the network to issue an apology.
Meanwhile, some corners of the internet have been filled with angry accusations that Thunberg has been “brainwashed” or “tricked” into her activist stance.
Thunberg has upset quite a few powerful (and not-so-powerful) adults, who have responded by trying to discredit the teen and diminish her mission.
Luckily, there’s a helpline for that.
Australian comedian Mark Humphries and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have teamed up to produce a tongue-in-cheek video that mocks some of the flimsier arguments levelled at Thunberg. The satirical video set the internet on fire Thursday, racking up 10 million views within its first 24 hours.
WARNING: The following video contains language some may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised.
The video opens with a shot of Humphries offering a confessional-style testimonial.
“Hi, I’m a middle-aged man with an embarrassing problem,” he says. “I get irrationally angry at a Swedish girl who wants to save the planet.”
The clip then cuts to a room full of sympathetic “counsellors” who are ready and eager to answer calls.
“If you’re a grown adult who needs to yell at a child for some reason, the Greta Thunberg Helpline is here to tolerate you,” a woman’s voiceover says.
The video shows several adults complaining about Thunberg for various reasons.
“She’s just fuelling needless anxiety,” one man says. “She’s making the end of the world sound like it’s the end of the world.”
A second man accuses Thunberg of not being eco-friendly enough because she “doesn’t wear one of those baseball caps with the solar panels and the fan on the front.”
A third caller is shown complaining about the film Ladybird. A counsellor interrupts him in the middle of his rant to inform him that he’s complaining about Hollywood director Greta Gerwig, not Greta Thunberg.
“It’s OK,” the voiceover says. “We understand that children acting like adults can make adults act like children.”
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Most users responded with applause for the video, although a few continued to attack Thunberg.
“I’m more mad the left is using her as a shill,” Twitter user @RoorWade wrote. “She’s completely incompetent when she’s not reading a script wrote (sic) by someone else.”
Thunberg seemed to roll her eyes at critics earlier this week in a Twitter thread addressing the “haters” who attacked her based on her looks, her clothes, her behaviour and her differences.
“It seems they will cross every possible line to avert the focus, since they are so desperate not to talk about the climate and ecological crisis,” Thunberg tweeted.
“Being different is not an illness and the current, best available science is not opinions — it’s facts.”
Thunberg is in Montreal on Friday to march in the latest edition of her global climate strike, with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green party Leader Elizabeth May in attendance.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will be at a climate change march in Victoria, B.C., while Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will not be taking part in any climate events but will also be in B.C. for a campaign stop.