Celebrity supporters of Extinction Rebellion (XR) have called themselves “hypocrites” for supporting environmental protests while living “high carbon lives”.

More than 100 famous figures, including actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Bob Geldof and actor Sienna Miller, have signed an open letter acknowledging that their lifestyles and professions contribute to the “climate emergency” XR is campaigning to end. 

Despite their admission, the celebrities, who have supported XR’s two-week long disruption in London that has grounded flights and caused violent clashes, said they will not be silenced.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

USD 0.27
a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

“Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites. You’re right. We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints,” the letter reads.

“Like you – and everyone else – we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm.”

Shape Created with Sketch.
Extinction Rebellion protesters shut down London roads

Shape Created with Sketch.
Extinction Rebellion protesters shut down London roads

1/59 London, UK

The letter goes on to say the media should “tell the public the truth” about the climate crisis.

“The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us,” the letter reads.

“There is, however, a more urgent story that our profiles and platforms can draw attention to. Life on earth is dying. We are living in the midst of the 6th mass extinction.

Other signatories include actors Ray Winstone, Jude Law and Steeve Coogan, as well as Spice Girl Mel B and comedian Ruby Wax.

The letter concludes with the celebrities saying they have been inspired by young climate campaigners, including Greta Thunberg, to speak out.

“Alongside these people who are already paying the price for our fossil fuelled economy, there are millions of children – called to action by Greta Thunberg – who are begging us, the people with power and influence, to stand up and fight for their already devastated future,” the letter reads.

“We cannot ignore their call. Even if by answering them we put ourselves in your firing line.”

Dame Emma Thompson took part in an Extinction Rebellion protest earlier this year (AFP/Getty)

The comments come after several celebrities were criticised for supporting XR despite landing lucrative car sponsorship deals and holidaying on private jets.

Earlier this year, Dame Emma Thompson was criticised after flying 5,400 miles from Los Angeles to London before taking part in an XR protest.

“It’s very difficult to do my job without occasionally flying, although I do fly a lot less than I did,” Dame Emma told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

The celebrities cited Greta Thunberg as the inspiration behind the open letter (AP)

Similarly, Sherlock star Cumberbatch was recently announced as the new ambassador for Indian car brand MG. 

Last week, he joined XR protesters sitting in the road to block traffic from entering Trafalgar Square. 

The celebrity letter was released on the 10th day of XR protests in central London, which have targeted some of the busiest sites in the capital.

Extinction Rebellion protesters on the roof of an Underground train surrounded by angry commuters at Canning Town station in east London (@CharWilkoo/PA)

On Thursday morning, XR protesters were pulled from the top of trains by angry commuters as they targeted London’s Tube network.

Parts of the Jubilee Line were shut down after a number of the climate activists climbed on to a train at Canning Town station. British Transport Police said there were two additional incidents at Stratford and Shadwell.