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Ecuador Pays Celebs Big Bucks to Endorse Their Fraudulent Cause

Ecuador has been eager to improve its image lately. From international condemnation for cracking down on a free press to criticisms over human rights and rule of law, the country could use a good PR firm. Rather than addressing those pressing issues, however, Ecuador hired Brooklyn-based MCSquared for $6.4 million to stage anti-Chevron stunts, including paying celebrities to endorse their fraudulent campaign against the company.
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Opponents of President Rafael Correa’s policies, many of them from indigenous groups, protested against government policies on Thursday, including one that would permit the populist leader to run for office indefinitely. Discontent has grown as a slump in oil prices has weakened the pace of Ecuador’s robust economic growth of recent years. Thursday’s protests, among the largest in a series of recent demonstrations and the first national strike, comes a day after ratings firm Standard & Poor’s lowered its sovereign credit ratings on Ecuador by a notch.

Ecuador has been eager to improve its image lately. From international condemnation for cracking down on a free press to criticisms over human rights and rule of law, the country could use a good PR firm. Rather than addressing those pressing issues, however, Ecuador hired Brooklyn-based MCSquared for $6.4 million to stage anti-Chevron stunts, including paying celebrities to endorse their fraudulent campaign against the company.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay uncovered that MCSquared paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to talent agencies to get famous celebrities like Danny Glover and Mia Farrow to travel to Ecuador to take part in their anti-Chevron campaign.

According to new documents filed with the Justice Department and quoted by the Free Beacon, MCSquared paid Greater Talent Network, which represents Mia Farrow, and the American Program Bureau, which represents Danny Glover nearly $500,000.

Both Farrow and Glover traveled to Ecuador last year to join the Republic in criticizing Chevron.

The fact that Ecuador’s political leaders are staging anti-Chevron appearances is not new. As Paul Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek discovered, Chevron’s May 28 Annual Stockholder Meeting in Midland, Texas, drew phony protestors paid $85 apiece by Ecuador’s government to wave signs and shout slogans. And then a New York City-based casting company, NYCastings, was retained to offer $80 for “extras” and $200 for “principle talent” in a print ad you can see here to play anti-Chevron protestors for purposes of creating this propaganda video, which attempts to portray the protest as a real event rather than a paid stunt.

After the Free Beacon report emerged, the site noted Mia Farrow tweeted that she received a “speaking fee” to travel to Ecuador and deliver her anti-Chevron remarks.

As the fraudulent case against Chevron unravels, Ecuador continues to put its anti-Chevron Hollywood sideshow ahead of its citizens.

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