Indonesian government to Leonardo DiCaprio: Shut up or stay out

dicaprio instagramDiCaprio has been criticized for having a carbon footprint as big as Wall Street. Now it seems that DiCaprio may no longer be welcome in Indonesia after posting photos and diatribes online bemoaning the country’s environmental deforestation policies, outlets are reporting today. DiCaprio posted to Instagram a stream of posts condemning Indonesia’s use of rain forests to grow palm trees and his concern over species whose habitats may be threatened. A spokesperson for the Indonesian government said Saturday Leo could be blacklisted because of his online comments.

Last month, the 41-year-old Oscar-winning actor-cum-environmentalist visited the Indonesian island of Sumatra and then posted pictures on Instagram about how indigenous species are under threat. “The expansion of palm oil plantations is fragmenting the forest and cutting off key elephant migration corridors, making it more difficult for elephant families to find adequate sources of food and water,” DiCaprio wrote.

“A world-class biodiversity hotspot, the #Indonesian Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important areas of intact #rainforest left in Southeast Asia,” read his Instagram post. None of which went unnoticed by Indonesia’s government. Heru Santoso, a spokesperson for the Indonesian government, responded to the post by threatening to prevent the actor from visiting the Southeast Asian country again.

Speaking to the BBC, an Indonesian official revealed that Leo could be blacklisted from Indonesia as a result of his comments online. “In terms of [his] visa and immigration permit, Leonardo DiCaprio did not do anything wrong: He entered and left Indonesia legally,” said Heru Santoso, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s immigration department, speaking to the BBC. “But, we still investigate.”

Santoso told the AP, “We support his concern to save the Leuser ecosystem. But we can blacklist him from returning to Indonesia at any time if he keeps posting incitement or provocative statements in his social media.” Indonesia is the largest producer and exporter of palm oil worldwide.

The Guardian is also reporting that Ronny Sompie, the immigration director-general told Indonesian newspaper Republika that DiCaprio’s tourist visa limited him to “excursions only,” and that he could be deported by making “statements that discredit the government and the interests of Indonesia.”

“If he is in Indonesia for other purposes, by engaging in activities that disrupt public order and harm the interests of Indonesia, immigration authorities are ready to deport him,” Sompie said. Except Leo has already left the country, but his pictures and inflammatory comments are available for the world to see.

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