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Pressure grows on X-site over Greta Thunberg sticker

Online petition nears 50,000 signatures - calls for executives to resign and issue public apology


March 4, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

Topics

An online campaign demanding more change at an Alberta oil company that distributed an offensive sticker worn by it employees is gaining steam.

A petition on Change.org is nearing its goal of 50,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

The sticker featured the logo of X-site beneath a sexually suggestive cartoon appearing to depict 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The person behind the petition against X-site said the company’s response to date has been inadequate.

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“I don’t think X-site should be allowed by the public to move past this without making considerable structural changes within their company, especially since this is not the first time they have disseminated disrespectful images aimed at underage climate organizers,” said Fionnuala Braun, a 19-year-old climate activist from Saskatoon.

The petition

While the RCMP has said the image is not child pornography, the petition said that “most people can agree that distributing images of sexual assault, or sexual images of anyone under the age of 18” is wrong.

“This image is both of those abhorrent things,” it said.

“Together, we can show that this disgusting and deplorable behaviour will not go unnoticed in Canada. We call on all executives involved in the making or distribution of the image to step down, and issue a public apology for their actions.

Company’s reaction

As detailed earlier this week in Talent Canada, the company apologized for the sticker, which created a torrent of outrage from all quarters.

“This does not reflect the values of this company or our employees, and we deeply regret the pain we may have caused,” X-Site Energy Services said in a statement on its website Monday.

“We are taking action to condemn this image and its publication and are committed to recovering and destroying the decals we distributed. Management accepts full responsibility and, effective immediately, has made organizational changes to reflect this.”

It also said it was discussing its code of conduct with staff, and would be holding sessions on respect in the workplace.

Company needs to do more: Braun

But the words and steps fell short in the eyes of Braun.

“I have gotten rape threats before. This happens to young female activists all the time. If we spent time reporting every single time someone said something sexualizing or threatened us online, we would spend all our time at the police station,” she said.

Braun added that Thunberg is so young, and “it makes us all feel a little unsafe.”

Thunberg herself has chimed in stating that it “shows that we’re winning.”

“They are starting to get more and more desperate,” she said on Twitter.

— with files from the Canadian Press