Justin Bieber Captures the Plight of Laid-Off Oil & Gas Workers

Bet you never thought you’d read about (or watch) a Justin Bieber video on MDN. We never thought we would write about or feature Bieber’s music. But then we watched a video of his newest song called Holy, a video that’s been watched (so far) over 32 million times since it was released to Youtube on Sunday! In the video Bieber plays the part of an oilfield worker who gets laid off. It’s poignant. Frankly, it brought tears to our eyes.

Bieber’s Holy is a catchy tune! We like it! Although we don’t particularly care for the portion that briefly detours into rap music (we’re not hip hop fans). Still, this video tells an important story that is happening right now, today. That’s the power of it. Watch it below.

We were clued-in to the video by an article appearing in Rigzone. The article chronicles the job loss disaster that’s been happening since March:

Justin Bieber, one of the world’s best-selling music artists, has highlighted the pain of oil industry layoffs in his latest music video, which was released last Friday.

Bieber’s latest song, titled Holy, shows the musician donned in coveralls and a hardhat next to a field of pumpjack oil rigs. At the midway point of his new release, Bieber, along with several of his colleagues, is told his site must close, which results in several job losses. Bieber and his partner are later shown to be homeless and wandering the streets before they are picked up by a U.S. military man for a hot meal.

The video echoes the real world to some degree, as thousands of oil and gas professionals in the United States have lost their jobs over the past few months.

Just a few days ago, the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association’s (PESA) monthly oilfield services (OFS) and equipment employment report showed total U.S. job losses due to pandemic-related demand destruction reached 103,420 in August. According to PESA’s analysis, the following states have lost 4,000 or more OFS jobs each in 2020:

Texas – 59,000
Louisiana – 10,200
Oklahoma – 9,200
Colorado – 5,000
New Mexico – 4,500
California – 4,500
Pennsylvania – 4,400

Back in July this year, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners (TIPRO) Association’s mid-year energy report showed that Texas alone had lost over 39,000 direct oil and natural gas jobs in the first half (1H) of 2020. According to the report, 321,455 Texans were directly employed by the industry in 1H. This was said to represent a decrease of approximately 39,514 net jobs over the previous year.

Oil and gas sector job losses have also taken place in several other countries over the past few months, including the UK, Canada and Australia, to name a few.*

When you read that over 100,000 people have lost their jobs, it’s easy to gloss over the fact each and every one of them is a story, a person, someone who likely has others depending on them. Each job loss is a gut punch and a personal tragedy for somebody. Watching the video (below) helps put a face on this ongoing disaster.

*Rigzone (Sep 23, 2020) – Justin Bieber Highlights Oil Pain

Be sure to watch it through to the end…and grab the Kleenex.