Culture

Green Group Blasts Leo DiCaprio for Taking Illegal Cash

Conservatives have railed against Leonardo DiCaprio’s eco-hypocrisy for some time. Why should the Oscar winner lecture us reg’lar folks on our energy consumption given his massive carbon footprint?

The stories of the actor taking private jet after private jet are legendary. So are tales of his luxurious lifestyle, even though he pretends to poo-poo that kind of large living.

Now, conservatives have some company in their DiCaprio bashing.

Bruno Manser Fonds wants the Oscar winner to return “laundered money” his foundation and 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street” allegedly received from a disgraced Malaysian group.

Its demand? That the UN remove him as their climate change ambassador unless he returns that tainted cash.

“If DiCaprio is unwilling to come clean, we ask him to step down as UN Messenger for Peace for climate change, because he simply lacks the credibility for such an important role,” said Lukas Straumann, director of the Switzerland-based charity, which has a particular focus on deforestation in Malaysia.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s ties to the $3.5 billion embezzlement scandal were revealed earlier this year. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the matter.

It’s all quite a change for DiCaprio, who typically generates fawning press. Reporters rarely press him on his eco-hypocrisy. Nor do they fact-check his environmental claims.

He recently did promotional appearances on behalf of his new documentary, “Before the Flood,” which airs Oct. 30 on the National Geographic Channel. Nary a reporter in the U.S. mentioned how his lavish lifestyle clashes with his eco-lectures.

You’d think the press, which typically feasts on all manner of hypocrisy, might squeeze in a sentence or two reminding readers of DiCaprio’s lifestyle.

That rarely happens.

It goes without saying, then, that most entertainment outlets have been reticent to cover the unfolding DiCaprio narrative. The Hollywood Reporter is an exception, doing significant digging into the subject.

The publication also excoriated the actor for the lack of transparency tied to his foundation.

Set up not as a nonprofit but instead as a donor-advised fund (DAF) attached to the California Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit, the LDF therefore is not required to file itemized public disclosures about its own revenue, expenditures and disbursements … despite repeated efforts, DiCaprio, 41, the LDF and the CCF all declined to fully answer fundamental questions related to transparency and accountability of the foundation — a decision that disappoints charity experts consulted by THR.

Sounds like DiCaprio is taking a page out of President Barack Obama’s “most transparent administration ever” playbook.