Mick Jagger supports climate change protests on Venice red carpet

Several hundred demonstrators took over the red carpet at the event where Hollywood stars such as Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix have premiered their latest films.
Image: Venice Film Festival
Members of Venice's "No Big Ships" Committee protested Saturday on the red carpet during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido.Alberto Pizzoli / AFP - Getty Images

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By Reuters

LOS ANGELES — Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland on Saturday supported environmental protesters on the Venice Film Festival red carpet as they promoted art-world thriller "The Burnt Orange Heresy," in which they both star.

The Rolling Stones frontman, who plays a demonic art collector in the film, was asked at a news conference about how he felt about the estimated 300 to 400 protesters gathered in front of the Palazzo del Cinema demanding a ban on huge cruise ships from entering Venice and also raising awareness about the threat of climate change.

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"I'm glad they are doing that. Because they are the ones that are going to inherit the planet," Jagger said.

"We're in a very difficult situation at the moment," he added. "Especially in the U.S. where all the environmental controls that were put in place... are being rolled back by the current administration. So much so that they are all being wiped out," he went on to note.

The protesters on the red carpet mostly belonged to an organization called The Venice Climate Camp which claims that the boats sailing through the lagoon are eroding the foundations of the historic city. But their action also carried a broader message. "The message is clear, the earth is burning. The time has come to mobilize, to take serious measures, to ensure social and climate justice," the organizers said on their website.

Jagger in his show of support for the protesters also pointed out that "the U.S., which should be the world leader in environmental control has lost that," he said. "They've decided to go the other way," he added. "I'm glad that people feel so strongly they want to protest, whether it's the red carpet or another place."

Sutherland, who in the film plays a famous contemporary artist, provided his show of support by pointing out that environmental protection measures put in place during the Obama administration "were barely adequate; and now they are being torn apart."

"And now they are being torn apart in Brazil, and they will be torn apart in England," he added, noting that environmentalists "have to fight harder and they have to get as much support as they can."