Shock hit the airwaves last week when widely beloved environmental pioneer Captain Planet announced that he’d be ‘open to a move if a Kepler opportunity opened up’.
In a recent interview with Time, Mr Planet responded with the above when asked about his interest level in potential professional opportunities with newly-discovered Kepler exoplanets, which scientists believe may be habitable.
His comments have sparked anger worldwide. One netizen commented “If Captain Planet feels that way, they maybe he can just get his green mullet and weird blue self out of here!”, a post which has subsequently been shared over four hundred thousand times at press time, despite its anti-blue and xenophobic overtones. Others called for a new environmental champion, questioning Planet’s dedication, and some have even begun to suggest replacement candidates, pointing to Planet’s struggles to establish himself at the top of the environmental champion table over the past decade or so.
In response, however, many have voiced support for the Captain, saying his comments were ‘taken’ out of ‘context’. One commenter mused, “As soon as we find another habitable planet, we’ll try to go pollute that one, too. Where better for him to go??” Many netizens have highlighted Mr Planet’s many environmental successes, including the highlight of his career, the double defeats of Captain Pollution in the early 1990s.
Major media outlets have been closely following the news; BBC is leading the pack with their #trending Captain Popularity metre. In all polls, Mr Planet’s public approval rating initially plummeted before beginning a wild variation over the past few days as new pieces of information have come to light.
The Captain, for his part, seems quite taken aback by the whole mess. “My comments were absolutely taken out of context,” he said in a prepared statement. “I’m probably the biggest supporter of Earth on the whole planet. I can’t leave Earth! The question about Kepler was posited from a purely hypothetical standpoint, and I answered in a fitting fashion. In fact, I considered it to be in jest, and I now regret having taken such a serious question so lightly.”
The interviewer, however, claims that Mr Planet made several disconcerting comments in the lead-up to the interview. She described the Captain’s demeanour as ‘unquestionably grim’ and ‘almost defeated’, and when she asked him about his current attitude toward humanity’s environmental efforts, he allegedly simply shook his head and sighed, mumbling something about ’they…don’t care’ and ‘…hopeless anyway’.
The New Yorker has responded with a well-documented look at Captain Planet’s sterling professional career, and I personally must say that the closing line, which referred to his record as ‘unpolluted’, was yet another moment of sheer class from the esteemed magazine.
We will keep you up to date as the situation develops.
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