'Greta Thunberg Helpline' Sketch Seen By Millions Around The World
Do you find yourself incredibly angry at a 16-year-old Swedish girl trying to save the planet? Good news! There's a helpline for that.
A sketch about a Greta Thunberg helpline from the comedy team at ABC's 7.30 has been seen around the world.
More than 13 million people have seen the video on Twitter -- including Thunberg herself -- while another three million have watched it on Facebook.
"If you're a grown adult who needs to yell at a child for some reason, the Greta Thurnberg Helpline is here to tolerate you," promises the sketch.
Satirist Mark Humphries, who co-wrote the script with writing partner Evan Williams, said they had initially shelved the idea in favour of sending up former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appearing on Dancing with the Stars instead.
"That ended up going nowhere, so we were kicking ourselves for choosing that over the Greta story, but then Greta spoke at the UN climate action summit and it kick-started a whole bunch more commentators ripping into her," Humphries told 10 daily.
"The level of vitriol was so absurd, it was a no-brainer to try and send it up."
A host of Australian media identities have criticised the teenager in recent weeks, including Alan Jones, Sam Newman, Chris Kenny, Mark Latham, Miranda Devine, Amanda Vanstone, and Karl Stefanovic.
"There’s anger out there – but there’s anger at this kind of activism as well," Stefanovic told 2GB listeners when filling in for Jones this week.
“I’ll tell you what, I’m an incensed middle-aged white guy this afternoon.”
Humphries told 10 daily he thought these commentators were playing to their audiences.
"I think a certain type of person takes issue with being lectured to by someone younger than them," Humphries said.
"But what choice does she have when the older leaders are neglecting their responsibilities?"
Thurnberg's climate strike began as a solo action last August, but quickly caught on. Last week, more than four million students and adults around the world took to the streets, demanding action on climate change from political leaders.
When she was asked by US Congress to offer remarks to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Thunberg instead submitted the landmark 2018 United Nations report warning of dire consequences due to climate change instead.
"I just think people are getting pretty jack of the disrespect shown to the scientific community over climate change," Humphries said.
"The frustration at world leaders who are in denial of the science is growing and growing."
"Then you've got someone like Greta, who represents a generation that is going to be more affected by these changes than anyone else, and I think people want to support her because most of us know we wouldn't have had the courage and strength to do what she is doing at her age."
Humphries -- who paid tribute to his "brilliant collaborators", including editor Chloe Angelo and the "ABC employees we roped into appearing in it" -- said they're a bit blown away by how far the sketch has travelled.
"13 million is a figure that we can't really get our heads around," he said.
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