‘The Office’ Star Rainn Wilson Makes Wild Name Change to Protest Climate Change

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor

Rainn Wilson, known for playing Dwight Schrute on the hit comedy series, “The Office,” is getting serious about an issue important to him. In fact, he’s so serious that he changed his name to call attention to the problem.

According to reports, the actor recently changed his name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson to protest climate change.

The 56-year-old announced the news with a Twitter video on Wednesday, timed to the United Nations climate change conference COP27 in Egypt occurring this week.

More than 90 heads of state and representatives of 190 countries are set to attend the latest edition of the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, running November 6 to 18 in the Egyptian Red Sea Resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

Wilson, also a board member of Arctic Basecamp, changed his name via a website called Arctic Risk Name Generator. The website encourages people to become “Arctic name changers.”

Wilson said of his name change, “This is not a joke.” However, whether the actor wants to change his name on government documents officially is still being determined.

At this time, his Twitter and Instagram handles remain @RainnWilson. His full name given at birth is Rainn Percival Dietrich Wilson.

Rainn Wilson encourages others to ‘change’ name to call attention to climate issue

“With the help of my scientist friends at Arctic Basecamp, I’ve changed my name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson,” the activist said in a statement. “This is not a joke. I’m as serious as the melting Arctic, which amplifies global risks including extreme weather events around the globe.”

He continued: “I’m hoping this name change brings attention to this growing… er, melting issue. We need world leaders at COP27 to take notice and take action. The Arctic is melting at millions of liters per second, yet this problem can’t seem to make a name for itself, so it’s up to us to make a name for it.”

He added: “Go to ArcticRiskName.org and create a name that will bring attention to this problem. Then – and this is the important part – change your social media profile or display name to match your new ArcticRisk name. And if enough of us do this, then maybe COP27 will be where our world leaders sit up and notice Arctic risks and introduce a solution.”

Gail Whiteman, the founder of Arctic Basecamp and Professor of Sustainability at the University of Exeter Business School, said world leaders at COP27 need to take notice of the problems for the world if the “Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.”

“The Arctic is warming up to four times faster than the global average, and rapid Arctic warming exacerbates catastrophic and costly global risks including extreme weather events, threats to food and water security, sea level rise and supply chain disruption around the world,” she said.