VICE (2013) s06e29 Episode Script

Doom Boom & Unfair

1 SHANE SMITH: This week on Vice: how to survive the apocalypse.
ROBERT VICINO: There is no safe place on the planet.
But there are safer places.
THOMAS MORTON: Do you ever look forward to, not the events leading to a situation where you're locked in, - but the idea of being locked in? - No.
SMITH: And then, the obsession with light skin in Bollywood.
(CHEERING) GIANNA TOBONI: I can't help but notice usually the main actors are fairer-skinned.
You think I'm fair? (WOMAN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (THEME SONG PLAYING) (CROWD SHOUTING) They're saying that right now, it's time for change.
(INDISTINCT SHOUTING) Doomsday preppers used to come from the fringes of society.
Since 9/11, however, planning for a world-ending disaster has become more and more mainstream.
NEWSMAN: Sales of doomsday bunkers, fallout tents, and underground shelters are soaring in the United States.
SMITH: Today's radical changes in the geo-political landscape, increased forced migration, and extreme climate events, have only intensified the country's collective anxiety.
In response, new businesses have sprung up to provide survival options for the impending collapse of civilization.
So we sent Thomas Morton to check out what's for sale in the American survivalist industry.
NEWSWOMAN: After a ballistic missile launch in November, Kim Jong-un now claims his nuclear weapons program is complete.
(SIRENS WAILING) NEWSMAN: This scene follows last night's alt-right protest with hundreds marching at the University of Virginia while waving tiki torches.
NEWSMAN 2: Fifty-eight people now dead, more than 500 people wounded in a horrific shooting.
There'll be more dark days to come for so many people who've lost everything.
Hi, it's Thomas.
It's 9/11.
I'm on Wall Street.
Fortunately not that 9/11, but in this crazy day of climate change, wealth inequality, civil unrest, things could happen any moment.
(CHORUS SINGING) (MORTON SPEAKING) You got that tide, so stay away from the No, keep the gas off.
- CHRIS DOWHIE: The city's on fire.
- MORTON: Exactly.
DOWHIE: The wheel is off the bus.
MORTON: The speedboat I'm currently taking across the Hudson at 50 knots belongs to Plan B Marine, a company that keeps a fleet of similar craft docked around Manhattan, fueled up and ready to go.
Its clients pay up to $6,000 a month to lease their own personal boats, so they can escape the island with a quickness should the proverbial shit go down or hit the fan or just happen.
- DOWHIE: Watch out for this wave.
It's gonna be big.
- MORTON: Yeah.
You're gonna want to pull back.
Pull your throttle back.
MORTON: Oh, sorry.
I did that exactly wrong.
- DOWHIE: Yeah.
- MORTON: Yeah.
MORTON: So the emergencies you're planning for aren't necessarily nuclear apocalypse.
We're really against that whole theory of the zombie apocalypse and preppers.
We're an insurance policy.
Why do most of the clients who call you, why are they looking for this service? Some people, it's fear.
They're afraid of something happening.
It all relates back to September 11th.
If something like that could happen, - something just as bad could happen.
And they don't want to be in that position where they feel helpless.
MORTON: I remember, like, during the blackout The blackout was the biggest problem.
- Everyone comes out of the subway.
- MORTON: Yeah.
DOWHIE: All the lights are out so now cars don't move, and the whole city's in gridlock.
It's an eye-opener when I speak to some security people.
What they're worried about was something I never even thought of.
Do you take that with a grain of salt, - when you talk to police? - DOWHIE: I do.
I do, - but I'm an optimist, so - MORTON: Yeah.
- An interesting market to be in as an optimist.
- I know, I It's a service I provide for other people, not myself.
No? But maybe my head is in the sand, like other people.
'Cause things happen, and things have happened in the past.
(INDISTINCT RADIO TRANSMISSION) Once you've gotten out of the city, though, the next question is, where do you go from there? (MOOING) I don't want to set the world on fire If you're not looking to leave the United States, but are looking to leave the main trouble centers, which is basically anywhere where a lot of people live, you can come out to one of the less populated districts, like here in South Dakota.
On our way to, uh, essentially a, kind of like, condominium complex of shelters called Vivos xPoint.
MORTON: Shoes off? VICINO: Yeah, we like to take shoes off.
Keep the floors nice and clean.
- VICINO: What do you think? - This is This is swank.
VICINO: So this shelter was recently completed.
We built it as a showroom for people to come, walk through, touch and feel, and see how to do it.
You know, the way this works is they come and they go, and they build out their bunker over time, and everybody's got different ideas and different plans, and that's fine.
We like that.
VICINO: But this one sold for $150,000.
Just for the improvements, plus the shelter at 25,000, so 175.
And if you build it out yourself, it'd be about 50.
You know, that's that's very reasonable.
What do you get for 50,000 in the form of a condo, or a cabin in the woods, or whatever? Not much.
MORTON: Do you feel a sense of urgency with getting all these things done? Or do you feel like right now Yes.
And it's a big discussion.
- We're all having it yesterday.
- Yeah.
All I can say is, as a company, Vivos, we're doing the best we can, - as fast as we can, for as long as we can.
- Yeah.
To build as many shelters to protect as many people as possible.
TOUR GUIDE: Check out the incredible entertainment room we have here for you guys.
Incredible what you can do with a bunker.
MORTON: Vivos may market its shelters to middle-class preppers, as evidenced by IKEA- meets-CB2 furnishings of their show bunker, but an entire cottage industry has sprung up selling survival skills and resources to the sweetest demographic of all: the one percent.
Do it.
MORTON: Dan Clark was a bodyguard for some of the corporate world's richest figures before starting Clark International, a security firm in Omaha, Nebraska, that teaches executives, famous actors, and other high net worth individuals, how to protect themselves and get away from kidnappers, terrorists, assassins, and mobs of angry low to no net worth individuals.
Being in the position that you're in, you may find yourself where you actually have to defend yourself.
And there's some fundamentals of self-defense that you should know and that we're gonna practice today.
Front foot's gonna go forward, back foot's gonna follow.
Just like that.
That's really good, Thomas.
The people of high net worth, not only do they have the regular concerns as the average citizen, of the random crime, or run across the mentally ill, but the people of real high net worth, they need to concerned, as well, as far as targeted crime.
- MORTON: Whoa, whoa.
- (MEN SHOUTING INDISTINCTLY) MORTON: In recent years, have you noticed, has there been an uptick in people coming to you for service? Yes.
Absolutely so.
I think it's a combination of several factors.
I think it's a combination of terrorism.
I think it's a combination of potentially being targeted.
- (SCREECHING) - That's it.
In addition to a little bit of the political unrest that's going on right now.
From here, I'm exploding.
Boom, boom-boom.
Like that.
- And then, I'm coming back online.
- MORTON: Yeah.
And when you get good enough, you make your own sound effects.
(LAUGHS) MORTON: Part of Clark International's business model is keeping their roster of clients confidential.
- CLARK: That's very good, Thomas.
- Okay.
MORTON: Which is always a selling point to the have-mores in society, who like to keep their private lives as private as possible.
Especially things like what they own and what they're afraid of.
To wit, there's purportedly an entire scene of tech billionaires within the prepping community who've been buying up bolt-hole properties in New Zealand and elsewhere.
And which purportedly includes the likes of Peter Thiel, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Reddit founder Steve Huffman.
Guys it's safe to say are no dummies, especially when it comes to what they do with their capital.
At least one tech tycoon, however, is spending his time and money trying to raise the alarm about the economic catastrophe looming in our wealth-disparity gap, instead of just preparing to run for the hills in his new Tesla.
Intuition about the future is the essence of good entrepreneurship.
So what do I see in our future today, you ask? I see pitchforks, as in angry mobs with pitchforks.
I love these mugs by the way.
- You like our trickle-down mugs? - Oh, these are you guys.
Of course we did.
Trickle-down economics.
Making the rich richer and the poor poorer since - Forever.
- Forever.
That's cute.
HANAUER: I wrote this piece for Politico a couple of years ago called "The Pitchforks Are Coming for Us Plutocrats.
" You know, just offered the basic argument, which is that if any society which becomes radically unequal, either it becomes a police state, or devolves into revolution.
There aren't any counter-examples to that, - and that we should try to avoid that.
- Yeah.
I don't know.
Maybe there's plan B.
In 1980, the top one percent of Americans got about eight percent share of national income, and the bottom 50 percent of Americans got 17.
7 percent.
Fast-forward it to, like, 2007.
Top one percent had gone to almost 23 percent, while the bottom 50 percent had fallen from 17 to, like, 11.
- MORTON: Wow.
- HANAUER: All you have to do is take that trend, just imagine it goes for another 20 or 30 years.
That arrangement does not resemble what we currently have.
Democracy is gone, the normal economy is gone.
You're living in some sort of weird, feudalist hell-scape.
It's hard to believe that we're going to be able to get the country back on track without some pretty crazy stuff going down.
Crazy in what sense? What do you see as happening? I mean, I think that you're gonna see a ton of social unrest play out over the next ten, ten to 20 years.
Do people still have contingency plans? I remember around the time of the WTO, there was a lot of talk about, like, you know, like, Batman tunnels.
and stuff like that through the city.
Are people ? - Oh, yeah.
- MORTON: Yeah? Yes.
Everybody, like, in my world, everybody's like, "Where are we gonna go?" MORTON: The Raven Ridge Survival Condo was originally constructed as in intercontinental ballistic missile silo in the '60s.
After its ICBM was taken out, the silo sat derelict for 40 years, until developer Larry Hall bought it to make into a data center that could withstand the shockwave from a nuclear explosion.
Then he had a change of heart, and decided to convert his plans for a server farm into a shelter for the most precious data of all: human civilization.
- LARRY HALL: Thomas.
- MORTON: Hello.
- Larry Hall.
Welcome to the Survival Condo.
MORTON: Full-floor condo units at Raven's Ridge start at 2.
5 million dollars, for which you get not only unlimited food, water, electricity, and breathable, non-radioactive air, but as many creative comforts as you can fit into a 15-story hole in the ground.
This is the dome, then, you have the mechanical level, medical, security level.
This is the dental chair.
And then this is the exam room.
We've got all these things set up.
Store level with hydroponics and aquaculture.
We'll have tomatoes and lettuce and kale, and We also have music in here 'cause plants respond to classical music.
Then the residential levels are five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and 11.
It's about 940 square feet of living space in here.
- MORTON: How many units are there, total? - Twelve.
- Are they all occupied, or all sold? All spoken for? - Yeah.
Yeah, yeah.
- MORTON: Wow.
- HALL: Yeah.
HALL: Then there's the library and classroom.
(GASPS) This book's amazing.
HALL: The exercise and spa level.
A theater and lounge, and then the pumps and storage.
MORTON: As talking with the owners, have you learned anything that has stoked or diminished your concern for an event happening sometime in the near future? Yeah, I've had a lot of new inquiries from very wealthy people.
I guess what's interesting is that a lot of these people have, um, a lot of money and political connections.
And therefore, I imply that they have access to information that I don't have access to and there's something bothering them.
- Yeah.
- That makes them worried, so It's made me, you know, think I'm on the right track.
HALL: So the whole place was engineered to make life normal here for an extended period of Tim.
And that's what makes this place so much more survivable.
You know, people look at a bunker, and they look at, "Oh, how much is it?" You just don't know what all goes into it.
But this is not just a bunker.
This is designed to make life normal for extended periods of time under the harshest of conditions.
MORTON: Do you ever look forward to, not the events leading to a situation where you're locked in, but the idea of being locked in and getting to use all this? No.
MORTON: How does it feel to put so much work into something you hope won't be used? It feels good, because again and my owners have all said the same thing.
It's a peace of mind.
I have a plan.
If something bad happens, I know what I'm gonna go do.
And that's what people get.
It's peace of mind.
You know, that if the unthinkable happens, that they've got a plan to keep life good for their family.
The first bunker was 54,000 square feet of living space.
The new one is three times this size.
It's a 150,000 square feet.
MORTON: Are any of those sold yet, or ? HALL: Half the units already are spoken for, so We're gonna hit the ground running pretty quick on that now.
India makes more movies than anywhere else on the planet.
But for aspiring stars, getting the part often depends on their skin tone.
And it's more than just leading roles.
This celebrity-driven obsession has contributed to a skin-lightening industry worth nearly half a billion dollars, with many believing that a fairer complexion will also bring them better marriage prospects, jobs, and social status.
Now the pressure to look like a Bollywood star has driven some to striking extremes.
So we sent Gianna Toboni to Mumbai to see for herself.
The costume lady just offered me extra boobs.
I declined.
How do I look? Good? Give me your upper body, a little bit in front of the camera.
Not bad.
- But not good.
- Okay.
TOBONI: This is a modeling shoot for an Indian company that sells traditional Indian clothes to the Indian market.
- Nice to meet you.
- You too.
TOBONI: Your makeup looks beautiful.
Where are you guys from? TOBONI: Ukraine, okay.
The strange thing here: there are no Indian models.
I don't know, I'm looking through the catalog.
I'm wondering why they don't use Indian women.
They don't work in India.
Everything's about skin? TOBONI: Why aren't there Indian models? TOBONI: It's an open secret in India that fair skin is seen as the beauty ideal.
But for anyone hoping to become a Bollywood star, it can feel more like a job requirement.
KARTIK RAO: So this is audition messages.
So big production.
Fair skin or normal skin I think okay, but good-looking.
So, Kartik is showing me all of the casting calls over email, and at the, you know, first line of all of them, it's either fair or very fair.
So you're, like, Bollywood's casting director.
Well, I'll just kind of be standing next to you.
Maybe your sidekick? Well, let's get started.
TOBONI: So what types of actors are you looking for? SIDDIQUI: Two main leads, like bride and groom.
So, I know he will not get selected.
What the clients tell us, he should be 5'10" about, fair-looking, very dashing look.
Hey, baby.
I'm home! I mean, I want to propose you, but I'm not ready for the marriage.
How do you think he did? - Not good.
- Oh.
Baby, I'm home.
So if somebody's a great actor, but they have a dark complexion, will you hire them? (SIDDIQUI SPEAKING) TOBONI: Of course, we wanted to find out what it was actually like on a Bollywood set.
TOBONI: The one thing that's, um, immediately apparent, is that the two lead actors are pretty fair-skinned, and everyone else is not.
(DIRECTOR SPEAKS) (CHEERING) TOBONI: Are you the Are you love interests in this TV show? Yes.
- Papa by Chance? - Yes.
Uh, that he was made a father ALL: By chance.
That's about the show.
How did you become a papa by chance? - Well, this got dark quick.
- Yes, with some drama, - and, uh, humor, and love interests.
- TOBONI: Yeah.
TOBONI: We were hanging out with a casting director yesterday.
He was telling us that in a lot of the casting calls, they'll ask for fair actors.
- Yeah.
- And so, as a result, a lot of actors will start to use, like, Fair & Lovely, and White Miracle and these products.
Uh, is that typical, though, where people who get main parts are fairer-skinned? No, but, you think I'm fair? I think you're very fair.
I really think I'm brown in color, so (LAUGHS) Thank you so much.
TOBONI: Sometimes, when actors are denied parts because of their skin tone, they'll turn to a booming sector of the Indian beauty industry: skin lightening.
The most popular products have titles like, "White Perfect" and "Fair & Lovely," and are made by the biggest Western cosmetic companies in the world.
Unilever, Procter & Gamble, L'Oreal, to name a few.
Around 60 percent of women and a growing number of men in India say they use these creams.
And the way they sell off the shelves? They hire Bollywood's biggest stars.
This is India's Don Draper, Kailash Surendranath, who created many of these ads.
And Anupama Verma, the former face of Fair & Lovely.
Now what is happening, actually, is in the country, uh, psychologically, is that, maybe it's Anglo of the British Raj.
But generally, a fair complexion is looked up upon.
But the dark complexion is not so looked upon.
So especially for marriage.
TOBONI: What was sort of your standard storyline for these advertisements? SURENDRANATH: An arranged marriage is being fixed.
The boy comes to see the girl, maybe finds her too dark.
The next time, she's used Fair & Lovely, another boy comes to see the girl, and marries her.
It's a prerequisite to get married.
(LAUGHS) The scripts used to be standard, and very weird.
Like, it was always about, you can't get a job unless you're fair.
You can't get married unless you're fair.
As a model, I was cast because I was fair, not because I was really using the product.
The Indians, they feel fair and beautiful.
Everyone is so beautiful.
If you see the matrimonial ads, it'll always It won't say, "Beautiful, educated girl.
" It will always say, "Wanted: Fair, intelligent girl.
" In fact, you know, a lot of people give this for the dowry.
They give her saris, they give her, uh, you know, whatever jewelry and stuff that she's gonna take with her, and the fairness cream.
Was there a moment when you both felt like, maybe I should stop endorsing this stuff.
Well, when I did feel that way, I stopped.
I decided not to sell stupid scripts, you know, which promise the world to you because you're fair.
That's just, I think that's in Indian, like, you know, like a hangover over the West is, because they feel fair and beautiful.
Fair, they think that's beautiful.
TOBONI: Having to fit into a cultural definition of beauty to be a movie star is not an unfamiliar concept.
Hollywood basically invented it.
But skin color bias permeates all layers of society here.
And it's causing some women to go to extreme lengths to become lighter.
(CLICKING) Is that smell her skin burning? (SHAH SPEAKING) TOBONI: So it basically destroys that pigment.
SHAH: It destroys the pigment temporarily.
How popular has this treatment been? From last year, there's a 100 percent increase in the number of people who are coming in for this treatment.
You've seen 100 perfect growth in this part of your business.
Yes, yes.
In this part of the business.
And Neha, how did you decide to get this treatment? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) TOBONI: You know, if you're applying to a job, will an employer say, "I'm sorry, you're too dark?" Do you feel a sense of guilt for, in some ways, perpetuating that narrative? Yeah.
You feel that it's not the right thing which you're doing, Because she is beautiful as is.
I'm not helping her getting a job, but that is what the industry demands.
TOBONI: Celebrities endorsing these products, commercials broadcasted to hundreds of millions of people, contributes to an already deeply rooted prejudice that goes back generations.
Kavitha Emannuel has been working to change this for years with a campaign called, "Dark Is Beautiful.
" This is a belief that is embedded deep in our minds.
It is part of our culture.
Where did this all begin? I think there are several reasons as to why we have this issue today.
And people, especially here in India, people always ask me, "Is it because of colonialism?" And then there is the caste issue, of course we have.
And the general belief is that the higher up you are in the caste system, you are lighter.
The whole idea of, the ruler was white.
Is this just, sort of, in certain parts of society, every now and then, or is this something that people face every day? There are things that we do at home every day, that tell you that we are biased when it comes to skin color.
When a baby is born in India, the first thing, of course, people want to know if it's girl or a boy.
But then the next thing people look for is the color of the skin.
- Just when the baby is born? - Just when the baby is born.
From day one, parents start speaking negative stuff about the baby's skin.
Just imagine how the child grows up.
I saw how it affected the confidence level, um, in girls.
That really kind of shocked me.
I thought, "Wow, this is a big issue, and no one's talking about it.
" TOBONI: Campaigns like Emmanuel's have helped to spur others to join in and speak out.
A youth group called Kranti is helping young girls reclaim their self-esteem.
- I love my skin.
- It's brown.
- Dark brown.
- Orange-ish.
- My mom gave me this skin.
- And I'm proud of it.
Kranti operates as a home for daughters of sex workers, and their mission is to empower their girls to combat class and skin color discrimination.
(GIRL SPEAKING) How many of you have used a skin-lightening cream? (GIRL SPEAKING) EMMANUEL: It's out there every day, in your face, it's shown on the television, every other product is talking about whitening your skin, and we've seen how it affects children.
We are a diverse nation with diverse languages and ethnicities.
I think we should look forward and see, why are we still entertaining this toxic belief?