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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

curated: Mark Rylance quits Royal Shakespeare Company over BP sponsorship

Ouch. BBC News:

Actor Mark Rylance has resigned from the Royal Shakespeare Company over its sponsorship deal with oil company BP.

The RSC said it is “saddened” by Rylance’s departure but that corporate sponsorship is “an important part” of its funding.

The oil company declined to comment on Rylance’s personal choice, but said it remains committed to sustainable energy solutions and is “proud” of its partnership with the RSC, held since 2011.

This includes funding a £5 ticket scheme for 16-25 year olds, with around 10,000 tickets being sold through the initiative each year.

Rylance, an Oscar-winner and associate artist with the RSC for 30 years, has been a longstanding critic of the sponsorship agreement.

In 2012, he signed a petition stating BP’s sponsorship deal allowed the company to “obscure the destructive reality of its activities” which he said threatened the future of the planet.

“Half the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere currently warming our planet have been emitted in the last 30 years,” he wrote in today’s resignation letter.

“BP has made the third-biggest contribution to climate change of any private company in history.


This is a tough dilemma. The arts are so underfunded that they rely on corporate sponsorship… but that sponsorship can be a way for a big corp to wash its karma. How about we tax the hell out of these companies and provide a fuckton more government funding of the arts?

I think we will be seeing many more protests like this happening very soon…

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stage buzz | talent buzz
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