Leonardo DiCaprio Shuts Down Brazilian President’s Claims Actor Is Responsible For Amazon Fires

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is no stranger to controversy, and he brought down even more with some recent comments blaming Leonardo DiCaprio for the wildfires that have devastated the Amazon rainforest in the South American nation.

According to Associated Press, Bolsonaro — who has been nicknamed the “Trump of the Tropics” — told supporters, “This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.”

Bolsonaro made a similar accusation in a Facebook live broadcast. “Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said, alleging the Oscar winner was part of an international “campaign against Brazil.”

RELATED: Leonardo DiCaprio Helps Create New Environmental Alliance

Bolsonaro’s unsubstantiated claims follow DiCaprio’s $5-million pledge to the emergency Amazon Forest Fund launched by Earth Alliance, an organization he formed with Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth.

As Deadline reports, Bolsonaro’s comments about DiCaprio “are believed tied to the arrest of four volunteer firefighters earlier this week who were accused of setting fire to a portion of the forest. They allegedly were attempting to boost fundraising for an unnamed international non-governmental organization, or NGO, that was rumoured to have ties with DiCaprio.”

DiCaprio took to social media to issue a response to Bolsonaro’s remarks, shutting down claims that he or any organization he’s associated with had anything to do with starting fires in the Amazon. “While worthy of support,” says DiCaprio of the groups alleged to have set fires, “we did not fund the organizations targeted.”

RELATED: Fund Backed By Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges $5 Million To Help Fight Fires In Amazon

“At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage,” wrote DiCaprio. “They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment. The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted. I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians.”

Accompanying DiCaprio’s statement are similar statements from Jon Paul Rodríguez, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and Dr. Wes Sechrest, CEO and chief scientist at Global Wildlife Conservation.

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