An Alberta oilfield company is apologizing for the “careless act” of distributing a sticker that appears to depict climate change activist Greta Thunberg being sexually assaulted.
X-Site Energy Services posted a statement on its website Monday, days after its general manager denied it had anything to do with the hard-hat decal that featured the company’s name printed boldly across the bottom.
“We recognize that it is not enough to apologize for the image associated with our company logo on the decals that circulated last week. This does not reflect the values of our company or our employees, and we deeply regret the pain we may have caused,” the statement said.
“We are taking action to condemn this image and its publication and are committed to recovering and destroying the decals we distributed.”
X-Site said its management accepts full responsibility, has made “organizational changes,” and will hold training sessions with all staff about respect in the workplace.
The sticker shows a drawing of the back of a nude female and two hands pulling from behind on her braided hair. The word “Greta” is written across her lower back.
In the last four days, almost 15,000 people have signed an online petition calling for “all executives involved in the making or distribution of the image to step down, and issue a public apology for their actions.”
HuffPost Canada reported Thursday that the stickers were distributed by X-Site as promotional material at work sites around central Alberta, after concerned Rocky Mountain House resident Michelle Narang raised the alarm on Facebook.
“This company represents everything that the [oil and gas] industry needs to fight against,” she posted.
The RCMP said the image “did not meet the threshold of a criminal matter,” but it was widely denounced by Canadians, Alberta politicians, the House of Commons and Thunberg, herself.
“They are starting to get more and more desperate…” the 17-year-old tweeted on Saturday. “This shows that we’re winning.”
Watch: Greta Thunberg says at rally that world leaders are “acting like children.” Story continues below.
Other parties have produced more stickers, but they “have nothing to do with” X-Site, the statement said. “We ask for everyone’s help in taking them and the original decal out of circulation and hope people will stop republishing these images.”
General Manager Doug Sparrow previously told other media outlets that neither X-Site, nor any employee, was involved in making the sticker, and that he’d had to shut down the company’s social media pages because of online “attacks.” He did not respond to HuffPost Canada’s requests for comment.
“We are proud of our team and the innovative services we provide the oil and gas industry,” said the statement. “We have let our employees, our families and our customers down with this careless action but, just as we are committed to help reduce our industry’s environmental footprint, we are committed to learn from and correct our mistake.”
UPDATE: This story now includes information about an online petition.