Succession’s plot twist prompts surge of interest in leaving money in wills to Greenpeace | Greenpeace

In a single bewildering and painful scene in the hit TV drama Succession, Cousin Greg sees his future of ease and wealth flip to mud. His grandfather, Ewan, declares he’s gifting away his complete fortune to Greenpeace, depriving Greg of his inheritance.

Now Greenpeace is hoping to profit in actual life in addition to in the fictional world of the media conglomerate Waystar Royco. Hundreds of individuals have regarded into leaving money to the environmental group for the reason that darkly comedian storyline about Cousin Greg shedding his inheritance after which threatening to sue the organisation was broadcast. Greater than 22,000 individuals have accessed on-line recommendation about making donations in their wills to Greenpeace. The group’s legacy webpage has additionally seen a tenfold surge in site visitors for the reason that episode was first broadcast earlier this month.

Greenpeace UK’s head of donors and legacies, John Hutchin, says the Emmy award-winning HBO sequence has introduced an essential however hardly ever mentioned topic to the fore. “It’s unbelievable the quantity of interest we’ve seen off the again of this storyline,” he says. “Our planet wants defending now greater than ever, and the items that folks go away to us in their wills actually are important to funding our campaigns.”

Greenpeace UK will get round a sixth of its revenue from items left in wills. This yr it expects to obtain about £5.5m.


The fifth episode of the present sequence of Succession, which follows the bitter battle to succeed ageing media mogul Logan Roy, revels in Cousin Greg’s impotent anguish as Ewan declares he’s leaving his complete property to charity partly to spite his grandson. Greg, a peripheral and completely insecure member of the family, then threatens to sue Greenpeace, earlier than his erstwhile confidant, Tom Wambsgans, remarks approvingly: “I like your fashion. Who’re you going after subsequent? Save the Kids?”

After the episode was broadcast, Greenpeace digital workforce modified the group’s Twitter deal with to “Gregpeace” and tweeted Nicholas Braun, who performs Greg: “we heard Cousin Greg desires to sue Greenpeace” with a hyperlink to recommendation on donating. Braun replied, in character, “nonetheless gonna do it”. Save the Kids received concerned too, asking Braun in the event that they have been subsequent. He responded: “No no, the kids are secure.”

A huge cutout of the globe with a sign on it saying 'Not for sale' hanging in a darkened conference hall
A Greenpeace protest banner at Cop26 earlier this month. {Photograph}: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

The change has generated extra clicks than another hyperlink shared on Greenpeace’s Twitter account. The unique tweet has over 3m impressions. Hutchin provides: “Whether or not you’re a lifelong environmentalist whose work will not be but completed, or, like Uncle Ewan, you’ve ulterior motives, leaving a present in your will is a good way to reaching that.”

Within the following episode, broadcast final week, Greenpeace will get one other point out. Greg is glimpsed being held aloft by Republican supporters chanting his title, with one calling out: “Fuck Greenpeace.”

In a case of life imitating artwork, James Cromwell, who performs Ewan, is believed to be a long-term Greenpeace supporter. Cromwell, who starred in LA Confidential and Babe, is a seasoned activist who was jailed after a protest on the web site of a gas-fired deliberate energy plant.

Though primarily set in the US, with a powerful American solid, Succession was created by British author Jesse Armstrong, who made his title with the progressive Channel 4 comedy Peep Present. The present’s writing workforce contains two outstanding British writers, Lucy Prebble and Georgia Pritchett. The solid additionally attracts on expertise from this aspect of the Atlantic: the menacing patriarch, Logan Roy, is performed by Scottish actor Brian Cox, and Tom is performed by English actor Matthew Macfadyen.

Legacy items have helped many charities survive as regular fundraising actions have been curtailed in the pandemic. The quantity of money donated to charities in the UK has elevated over the previous 30 years, with items rising from £800m in 1990 to £3.4bn in 2020. Greater than 16% of wills now comprise a charitable present. Analysts anticipate the baby-boomer technology to move on massive quantities of wealth, with many charities in line to profit. Analysis by the charity and bequest analysts Legacy Foresight estimates legacy revenue will probably be price £19.6bn between 2021 and 2025 and climb to £23bn in the second half of the last decade.

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