The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) are activists who employ a unique method they have dubbed Identity Correction.
Armed with well-crafted parody websites, press releases on fake letterhead, and thrift store business suits, The Yes Men impersonate the rich and powerful of the world to reveal the ways in which multinational corporations and politicians abuse the environment and human rights.
With biting satire combined with an element of absurdity and social engineering, they hijack the media and expose corruption and abuses of power at high levels.
The rich and powerful of the world then have no choice but to respond with a correction…. a correction that usually comes as an admission of guilt.
Exactly twenty years after Dow Chemical Company negligently caused the worst industrial disaster in history in Bhopal, India, Andy Bichlbaum appeared on BBC World as a representative of the chemical giant. In front of three hundred million TV viewers, this “representative” explained that Dow was finally taking responsibility for the catastrophe by compensating the victims and cleaning the spill. Dow shares promptly plummeted and the company lost billions of dollars in market value. To placate its investors, Dow was forced to repeat its denial of responsibility.
In their live presentations, the Yes Men share their techniques, methodology, and rebuttals as well as rare archival footage from their exploits.
Further Yes Men actions of note include:
With a little help from the Yes Men, the US Chamber of Commerce announced they would cease launching multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns and lobbying blitzes against a sane climate policy.
A fake edition of The New York Times was deployed across NYC prematurely announcing the end of the Iraq war.
A gilded phallus exploded from a World Trade Organization representative’s pants while demonstrating a ” management leisure suit” enabling CEOs to spy on sweatshop workers, as textile industry bigwigs nodded in approval.
Exxon’s new biofuel distilled from the corpses of global warming disaster victims fouled the air at a gas and oil conference while an Exxon representative (Mike Bonanno) distributed candles made from the body of an Exxon janitor (played by comedian Reggie Watts) who died cleaning a toxic spill.
Their most recent project is The Yes Lab Action Switchboard, a digital platform that brings creative activists from around the world together with collaborators and NGOs in order to launch actions that change the world.
Yes, you want to learn Yes Men-style identity correction.
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