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Disturbing 'Greta' decal bearing Alta. oilfield company logo drawing criticism
EDMONTON -- WARNING: The content below may be distressing to readers.
An Alberta energy company has come under fire after its logo was displayed on a decal allegedly depicting a sex act with a female figure who appears to be 17-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.
The image shows a pair of hands holding the braids of a female figure from behind. "Greta" is scrawled across her back. Directly below sits the logo of X-Site Energy Services.
A LinkedIn profile for a company of the same name, headquartered in Red Deer, Alta., advertises water management and high-efficiency frac fluid heating in Alberta and B.C.
Doug Sparrow, listed as general manager, has not responded to CTV News Edmonton's request for comment. A Facebook page for the company is not publicly available.
Rocky Mountain House resident Michelle Narang, whose sharing of the image on social media spurred a local social media storm, said she cried at the imagery.
"It was hurtful as a woman. It was hurtful as a mother. It was hurtful as an Albertan who's fighting for this industry all of the time and defending the hard work that men and women are doing each and every day and our amazing Canadian energy industry."
But before she posted an image of the decal, Narang says she called Sparrow and was told by him the company knew and approved of the marketing materials.
"I was like, 'OK, so you're OK with your company being promoted with the image of the rape of a minor?
"And his response was, 'She is not a minor. She's 17 now.' Then carried on by, 'That's not really what we meant.'"
The mother of three teens – two daughters and a son – says a sign proclaiming her support for the national energy industry stands in her front lawn. It nearly stopped her from taking her discomfort with the decal online for fear of attracting more bad press to the sector.
She called the graphic "internal self-sabotage" and symptomatic of a larger social divide between the energy industry and environmentalists.
"This is a culmination of all that anger and all of the misinformation and the unwillingness to speak to one another," Narang told CTV News Edmonton.
"It is a symptom of the problem, absolutely. But it goes further than that because she is a child."
A Red Deer graphics company that says it has worked with X-Site Energy Services previously was unaware of the "Greta" stickers.
"This matter is being looked into very seriously and will be dealt with accordingly if we find out they came from us," a statement by Velocity Graphics reads. "It has been a very long time since I have seen stickers leave our shop for them. This being said any future work/requests related to this company will be suspended immediately!"
It is not the only time X-Site has appeared to refer to the teenage climate change activist. Another social media post contains a photo of a semi trailer that bears the X-Site logo. A graphic on the trailer's side reads: "The Greta eco edition superheater. It gets screaming hot!"
Nor is it the first time Thunberg has been the recipient of vitriol in Alberta.
Counter protesters met a Thunberg-led march when she visited Edmonton last October. Shortly after, a mural of her in central Edmonton was defaced with a message in French telling Thunberg to leave Canada.
Narang said there was no doubt Thunberg is the "Greta" implied in the decal.
"It says Greta… It says Greta on the tattoo on the small of her back."
Alberta RCMP told media on Friday an investigation concluded the decal "does not meet the elements of child pornography. Nor does the decal depict a non-consensual act that would be a direct threat to the person."
A spokesperson told CTV News Edmonton that after looking into it, Mounties did not find anything that warrants a criminal act. They are not investigating further.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Dan Grummett