Canadian oil and gas company X-Site Energy Services has come under fire after its branding was used in a sexually violent cartoon of the climate activist and teenager Greta Thunberg.
The illustration - which was used on a sticker - shows a drawing of the back of a nude female with two hands pulling from behind on her braided hair (a style commonly worn by the Swedish activist). The name 'Greta' is written across her lower back. (VT will not be publishing the image.)
It has since caused outrage online after critics labeled it vile and misogynistic.
Though X-Site Energy Services has denied any involvement in its creation, the company has since received a backlash online due to their logo being featured and conflicting accounts of its creation.
As per a report in the Huffington Post, the cartoon appears to have originated as a hard hat sticker on a job site. It was then reportedly shared with others associated within the oil and gas firm, before being posted on Facebook by a friend of an employee.Related - Trump's former aide slammed over 'gross' joke about Greta Thunberg's body:
Rocky Mountain House Councillor Michelle Narang said she was sent a photo of the sticker by a friend who works for the oil industry. The friend, who spoke to HuffPost on the condition of anonymity over fear of losing their job, told the news outlet that the sticker that been distributed on a job site as a "promotional material" to be worn on their hats.
Narang called out the offensive image in a Facebook post, and was unequivocal in her contempt for the perpetrators, commenting:
"I’m absolutely sickened that X-site Energy Services would think that the hard working men and women in the energy industry would condone this representation of a child.
“I don’t care how much you disagree with the laments of a child — in Canada we don’t rape women and girls to teach them a lesson."
Narang, who is a self-professed advocate for the Canadian energy industry, also said: "This company represents everything that the [oil and gas] industry needs to fight against". She added: "This is an industry Alberta is fighting for so desperately. This sticker is not something Alberta or Albertans need.”
In addition to calling attention to the graphic on social media, Narang also alleges that she spoke directly to X-Site Energy Services general manager Doug Sparrow.
Narang alleges that Sparrow told her he was aware of the stickers, and he remarked that Thunberg was not a child as she is 17.
Speaking to Global News, Narang said: "[Sparrow's] response when I asked him if he was aware that there are stickers circulating with his logo depicting the rape of Greta Thunberg. He said yes, that he is aware.
"And I said, 'So you are fine with an image that your company condones the rape of children?' And he said, 'She is not a child, she is 17.'"
However, Sparrow has told Canadian media that his company was not responsible for the image, telling City News: "It's not from X-Site or any employee, someone has done this. That's all I know."
Velocity Graphics, a company that said it previously designed decals for the company, has also denied that it had any involvement in the creation of the cartoon in a post on its Facebook page.
"To clarify speculation we did NOT print or have any involvement in the Greta decals. In order to protect our reputation we ask that people carefully choose what they say. Thanks for your support," the company said in a written statement.
For her part, Thunberg has declared that the cartoon is a sign of desperation and shows that "we are winning" in the fight against the burgeoning climate crisis.
In Alberta, Canada, the age of majority - when a person is considered an adult - is 18, according to Canada's Department of Justice.