Lego is one of the runaway success stories of the last half century, both as a business, and in terms of the pleasure and creativity it has brought to millions of children (and not a few adults!) The recent Lego Movie, with its catchy theme tune ‘Everything is awesome!!!’, has also been a runaway hit, making more than over $467 million at the box office worldwide, and earning itself a place in the hearts of children and adult fans alike.
Shell is a multi-billion dollar multinational oil company with a string of horrendous human rights abuses, environmental catastrophes, and a range of policies that put maximizing profits before the good of the world or any of its inhabitants (barring shareholders) under its belt.
Since the 1960s Lego and Shell have had a licensing deal (no doubt very lucrative for both), where Lego products promote Shell in a form of subliminal advertising to Children (the relationship was broken off in the 1990s, but was rekindled again in 2011).
Environmental eco-warrior organization Greenpeace has slammed this relationship, and as part of its campaign ‘to stop Shell from endangering one of the last pristine places on Earth: the fragile Arctic,’ has launched video titled ‘Everything is NOT awesome!!!’
The video quickly became a big hit on YouTube (with over 3 million views), but earlier today it disappeared courtesy of Warner Bros. (who made The Lego Movie).
Greenpeace has told TorrentFreak that it does not know the reason for this (as it has not been given one), but suspects copyright issues over the song,
‘Our film was designed as a creative way of letting people know about the threat to the Arctic from Shell and the role LEGO has in the story. It seems to have struck a nerve with some important corporate bigwigs, but this crude attempt to silence dissent won’t work.’
Greenpeace plans to appeal the takedown on the grounds that its video uses satire and parody, and is the public interest, and so should be protected on the grounds of free speech.
The appeal process can take up to ten days to complete, but in the meantime the uncensored video is available on Vimeo.
Update 14 July 2014: The video was available on Vimeo when this article was written on Friday, but appears to have been removed over the weekend (our thanks to readers for pointing this out). Oddly enough, however, it is now available again on YouTube! It can also be viewed by going to the Greenpeace campaign homepage.