North Dakota tells John Oliver to 'be nice' after his stinging video on the oil industry


A few days after John Oliver told North Dakota to "be angry" about the state's oil industry, some residents have fired back.

Sky Digital Advertising, a Fargo-based company that owns digital billboards across North Dakota, ran a response to Oliver's nearly 20-minute monologue urging people to hold the state's oil companies accountable "when bad things happen".

The billboard, which features an image of Oliver, reads: "Hey John Oliver, don't be angry. Be 'North Dakota' nice (it really works)."

Sky Digital worked with a few clients who will "remain nameless" to come up with the response ad, which ran statewide Tuesday, Forum News reports.

In his monologue on "Last Week Tonight" Sunday, Oliver said he had paid for billboards around the state with the message "Be angry", mimicking North Dakota's "Be polite" and "Be nice" billboards that had been put up along the highway.

Oliver addressed the dark side of the state’s oil boom, highlighting oil spills and environmental damage, as well as lax regulations – comparing North Dakota to “a magical utopia like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, which come to think of it had about the same safety record as North Dakota’s oil fields.”

Oliver also spoke about the dangers on the Bakken, including the disconcerting number of deaths, saying: “A death every six weeks is what you do to keep your soap opera on the air.”

This summer, PBS’ NewsHour reported that at least 74 people have died working on the Bakken oil fields since 2006.

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