Besides being everyone’s favourite aqua superhero, Hollywood hottie Jason Momoa is also extremely protective over his native land. While protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) for weeks on the sacred Mauna Kea, he took to Instagram to announce that he can’t shoot Aquaman 2 because he “got run over by a bulldozer”.
For weeks now, Momoa has been demonstrating on the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the highest point in Hawaii, to oppose the construction of astronomical observatory project the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), approximated at US$1.4 billion (S$1.94 billion).
The Los Angeles Times reported that in 2009, the top of volcano Mauna Kea was selected as site of the telescope. In 2014, protesters interrupted the blessing ceremony, and in 2015, when work was underway, protestors appeared again, causing the work to grind to a halt. They were arrested by the authorities. A few months later, there were more protestors and more arrests, subjecting the work to a stop-and-go-and-stop-again situation, and work crews had to be recalled.
Hawaii’s Supreme Court has since ruled that the construction is legal, even though the imposing Mauna Kea is sacred to many Native Hawaiians, who have been using the mountaintop as a place of worship for centuries.
Momoa has been protesting on the Mauna Kea and has refused to budge on his beliefs, even leveraging the shooting of his upcoming movie Aquaman 2, sequel to the extremely popular film Aquaman.
“Sorry Warner Bros we can’t shoot ‘Aquaman 2′,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land”.
“WE ARE NOT LETTING YOU DO THIS ANYMORE. Enough is enough. Go somewhere else.”
Momoa posted the photo below on Instagram, citing it as an example of what telescope construction looks like.
“This is what telescope construction looks like (Subaru Telescope, 1992). The TMT will be four times larger on unscathed land. We must protect our scared mountain from further desecration,” wrote Momoa.
Besides Momoa, fellow Hollywood heavyweight Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is taking a stand against the telescope construction.
He made a surprise visit to the Mauna Kea volcano last month to join the protests.
“Obviously, I’ve been following this for years now–more so as everything has been amping up more recently–but when you come here to Mauna Kea you realise it’s bigger than a telescope,” Johnson told Hawaii News Now.
“It’s humanity. It’s a culture. It is people, Polynesian people, who are willing to die here to protect this land. This very sacred land.”
In a follow-up post, Momoa called on his fans for support, writing, “Pls support kīa’i for the @protectmaunakea movement. During this time, we are trying to unite both kānaka and Hawai’i born peoples alike to protect not only the mauna, but also our way of life and greatest natural resources in Hawaii as a whole.”
After the success of Aquaman, which made US$1.15 billion (S$1.16 billion) worldwide, a lot of hype has surrounded sequel Aquaman 2, which has been scheduled to open in theatres in December 2020. /TISG
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org