Press release: December 10, 2020

Wanda Sykes Featured in New Clean Virginia Video Calling for Energy Reform in Virginia  



Cassady Craighill, Clean Virginia Communications and Advocacy Director

[email protected], 828-817-3328

Wanda Sykes Featured in New Clean Virginia Video Calling for Energy Reform in Virginia  

Emmy-nominated illustrator challenges power of utility monopolies in “Beyond the Vampire Squid” video

December 10, 2020

Charlottesville — Clean Virginia has partnered with Emmy-winning comedian Wanda Sykes and Emmy-nominated artist Molly Crabapple to produce “Beyond the Vampire Squid: A Story About Power in Virginia” an illustrated video calling for energy reform in Virginia. 

The video uses illustrations depicting Virginia’s top utility monopoly Dominion Energy as a vampire squid, a reference first used by Rolling Stone reporter Matthew Taibbi to describe Goldman Sachs’ role in the 2008 financial crisis. In 2019, the Virginia Mercury’s Editor-in-Chief used the vampire squid reference to describe Dominion and its nefarious influence in Virginia’s political and governmental institutions. Crabapple, who was nominated for an Emmy this year for a video about the Green New Deal featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), illustrated the video and Skyes, a Virginia native, provides the video’s narration. 

“Virginia has its own vampire squid — one that wraps itself around the Capitol and uses its massive financial and political influence to strangle energy competition,” said Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore. “It is high time we vanquished the legalized corruption in Virginia that has allowed Dominion Energy to become the most powerful force in the Commonwealth, at the expense of Virginia families and small businesses.” 

Clean Virginia works on multiple fronts to advance energy and good governance reform in Virginia, including legislative efforts to limit the political influence of utility monopolies, introduce consumer control of Virginia’s energy market, and empower regulators to protect customers from unjust electricity pricing. 

Wanda Sykes is an Emmy-winning stand-up comic, writer, actress, and producer. Hailing from Portsmouth, Virginia, and Gambrills, Maryland, Skyes attended Hampton University and has been active in voter engagement efforts in Virginia, in coordination with the Hometown Project, which connects cultural leaders to local campaigns and candidates in their hometowns. Molly Crapabble’s art is featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, and her animated short “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” was nominated for an Emmy award this year. 


Clean Virginia is an independent advocacy organization with an associated Political Action Committee, Clean Virginia Fund. Clean Virginia works to fight corruption in Virginia politics in order to promote clean energy and community control over our energy policy.  For more information, visit