‘The Office’ Star Rainn Wilson Changes Name To ‘Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson’ Due To Climate Change
The Office star Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Schrute in the beloved comedy series, has changed his name to “Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson” to draw attention to climate change.
Wilson announced his new name on Twitter on Wednesday, timed to coincide with the United Nations climate change conference COP27 in Egypt this week. It is unclear if the actor plans to change his name on official government documents, but his Twitter handle currently remains unchanged.
In a follow-up tweet, Wilson explained that he was unable to change his Twitter handle due to the rapidly shifting rules regarding verified accounts that the site’s controversial new owner, Elon Musk, has introduced over the last few days.
At the time of writing, verified Twitter users are unable to change their handles, due to the sudden surge of impersonators and scammers on Twitter, which has resulted in singer Doja Cat being stuck with the handle, “Christmas.”
Wilson went on to explain that he changed his name via a website called Arctic Risk Name Generator, and stated: “This is not a joke, I’m as serious as the melting Arctic, which amplifies global risks including extreme weather events around the globe. I’m hoping this name change brings attention to this growing… er, melting issue. We need world leaders at COP27 to take notice and take action. The Arctic is melting at millions of litres per second, yet this problem can’t seem to make a name for itself, so it’s up to us to make a name for it.”
Wilson went on to urge the public to join him in the stunt, as an unusual form of mass protest, designed to draw public attention to the climate crisis and increase pressure on world leaders to properly address the problem. Wilson tweeted:
“Go to ArcticRiskName.org and create a name that will bring attention to this problem. Then – and this is the important part – change your social media profile or display name to match your new ArcticRisk name. And if enough of us do this, then maybe COP27 will be where our world leaders sit up and notice Arctic risks and introduce a solution.”
This isn’t the first time Wilson has been involved in environmental activism; the actor previously produced a YouTube series, An Idiot’s Guide To Climate Change, which included interviews with climate activist Greta Thunberg, along with prominent climatologists.
Wilson’s name change follows a recent trend of unusual, attention-grabbing climate activism designed to draw as many eyeballs as possible. The UK-based environmental activist group Just Stop Oil has been making headlines of late, with young climate activists throwing food at famous paintings and gluing themselves to the frames.
The stunts have sparked a mixture of public condemnation and admiration; it should be noted that the activists have, thus far, been careful not to damage the pieces in their protests.
In a previous interview with Forbes, Wilson playfully speculated on how his Office character Dwight might react to the incoming climate crisis:
“I think Dwight, with a connection to his character ‘Recyclops’ and his knowledge as a farmer, would come around to becoming some kind of climate-change activist. At least, that’s what I would hope for him as a character.”