Michael Moore EP'd 'Planet of the Humans' Scores 3.8 Millions Views in First Week, Triggers Furious Blowback
'This is so far beyond our expectations,' Moore says of film's extraordinary YouTube success
Just a week since it became available for free on YouTube, the provocative documentary Planet of the Humans has scored almost four million views on the online platform, quickly making it the most talked-about nonfiction film of the year.
“This is so far beyond our expectations,” Michael Moore, the film's executive producer, said in a statement. His longtime collaborator, environmental activist Jeff Gibbs, directed the film that argues the planet is headed for ecological disaster and that green energy offers the false promise of salvation.
“We knew we were presenting in this film some uncomfortable truths about our beloved environmental movement," Moore added, "but we also knew we could no longer remain silent about its failures and the wrong direction in which we’d all been led.”
The Green New Deal, to the extent it's proposing that green energy is going to save us, it's not going to save us, it's actually going to kill us faster.
As of Tuesday night, the film had recorded more than 3.8 million views and elicited more than 31,000 comments. [Videos of Moore and Gibbs that we posted on Nonfictionfilm.com's YouTube channel in August have also jumped in views over the past week, triggering comments in support of the filmmakers and others excoriating them].
A number of environmental-minded groups and leaders are mounting a vigorous attack on the film, calling it factually wrong and misguided.
"We are disheartened and dismayed to report the film is full of misinformation," declared Films for Action, which had posted Planet of the Humans to its site. It removed the film for a time, then reposted it with a recommendation that viewers read several critiques of the documentary.
"It’s a nihilistic take, riddled with errors about clean energy and climate activism," brayed Leah Stokes, writing on Vox.com. "With very little evidence, it claims that renewables are disastrous and that environmental groups are corrupt."
Oscar-nominated environmental filmmaker Josh Fox (Gasland) blasted the documentary, writing that it "trades in debunked fossil fuel industry talking points that are specious and meant to disparage the efficiency, durability and affordability of renewable energy."
For good measure, Fox tweeted "[Michael Moore] is not an environmentalist. He’s a sensationalist who owes the movement an applogy and a retraction."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.