Whenever he’s not too busy dropping nuggets about James Cameron’s return to the Terminator franchise, Arnold Schwarzenegger is laying the groundwork for a massive lawsuit against the world’s big oil companies. Why? According to what the famed action movie star told Politico at SXSW on Sunday, the industry has been “knowingly killing people all over the world” via the disastrous effects of man-made climate change. Hence why the 70-year-old icon is currently discussing the prospect “with several private law firms” and preparing for “a public push around the effort.”
Schwarzenegger announced his intentions during Sunday’s live recording of Politico’s Off Message podcast:
“This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,” Schwarzenegger said. “The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.”
“It’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,” he continued. “Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.” The ex-Celebrity Apprentice host also used his moment in the spotlight to throw a few more potshots at President Trump, who took a crack at the actor during a campaign rally appearance in Pennsylvania over the weekend.
Yet one of the more telling moments came when he addressed the growing #MeToo movement for the first time since his own sexual misconduct scandal resurfaced in recent months. Schwarzenegger insisted the allegations were “politically motivated,” but that didn’t stop him from acknowledging the movement’s merits and his own admitted, albeit vague, faults:
“It is about time. I think it’s fantastic. I think that women have been used and abused and treated horribly for too long, and now all of the elements came together to create this movement, and now finally puts the spotlight on this issue, and I hope people learn from that,” he said. “You’ve got to take those things seriously. You’ve got to look at it and say, ‘I made mistakes. And I have to apologize.'”
Before Schwarzenegger’s 2003 gubernatorial election win in California, the Los Angeles Times reported allegations by at least six women accusing him of groping or sexually harassing them. These and other claims were levied against him once again in December when protesters forced Common Cause, an independent watchdog group, to back out of awarding the actor turned politician for his work against abusive gerrymandering practices.