Woody Harrelson: Shut Down by Esquire.

What Women Really Think
Oct. 8 2009 10:56 AM

Woody Harrelson: Shut Down by Esquire.


In a recent interview on Esquire.com , Woody Harrelson gets the yada yada yada treatment when he tries to talk about global warming and a few other ecological issues apparently on his mind. The impulse to ignore celebs preaching from their very luxurious soapboxes is nothing new, but it feels somewhat rude in this instance, especially since interviewer Ryan D’Agostino specifically asks Harrelson how he’s feeling about the world, only to then reduce his answers to a joke of sorts, in which Harrelson’s presumably lengthy answers get described in key words. One example (and, oh, are there more!):

ESQ: Speaking of Earth ceasing to exist, how are you feeling about the world right now?

WH: I think the world's still gonna be here in another 10, 20 years. But I'm not feeling great about things ecologically. [A few minutes on current events. Key words: Obama, oil wars, government bailouts, mountain-top blasting, health care, evil, mankind, Ted Danson. ]

ESQ: Were you this interested in social and economic issues when you were in high school?

WH: No, but when I was 12 and I did a report on waning wildlife, I was supposed to just write a five-page thing and I wrote 50. [A few minutes about trees. Key words: clear-cutting, national forests, Montana, John Ratzenberger .]

Doesn't Harrelson in this instance seems like a bizarre target for this kind of mockery? There are much more obvious examples of celebrity hypocrisy, say John Travolta offering tips to combat global warming as he takes one of his five private jets out for a joy ride . And then there are the hilariously vacuous examples of celebrity charity-last month’s real headline "55 World Celebrities Sing To Stop Global Warming" could easily have been written as an Onion newsbrief. (Imagined line: "The emotional potency of the joint song by Duran Duran, The Scorpions, and others, convinced the sun to power down its rays and cease its attack on the planet.") We have no way of knowing whether Woody's spiel on our impending environmental doom was humdrum or worthwhile, and I wouldn't argue the man's a rocket scientist whose words on ecological issues should be carved out in gold on the mantle of every American household, but if his earnest answers are just going to used to poke fun at him, why even ask in the first place?

Photograph of Woody Harrelson by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.