Amal Alamuddin Clooney has an extensive education, is a successful human rights lawyer representing clients like Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and is a highly respected political activist. So why can’t Ryan Seacrest think of anything to ask her except “Who are you wearing?”
While it’s understood that Amal was there to support her husband, George Clooney — the moment was not really about her — why bother wasting the few precious moments you’ll have to ask her questions, which rarely happens, with something so superficial and unimportant?
— E! News (@enews) January 12, 2015
Here are some questions Seacrest and E! News could have asked her instead — questions women who aspire to fulfilling lives outside of their roles as “wife” or “arm candy” would appreciate hearing the answers to.
1. What is the importance of your “Je Suis Charlie” button?
Both Amal and George were wearing the pins in support of the victims of this week’s terrorist attacks in France. Seacrest didn’t ask either of them about it. That was a wasted opportunity to hear what one of the top-ranking international human rights lawyers in the world had to say.
2. How is your life and career affected by your Muslim background when such attacks occur?
Amal’s mother is Muslim, and while it is unclear if Amal herself practices the religion, it is definitely part of her heritage. Does she ever experience discrimination because of it? Has she ever experienced it in her career or in her personal life? Those are extremely timely questions.
3. What books are on your nightstands?
This question would have included Clooney too, since he was really the focus, but it would have been a great opportunity to ask a smart woman what’s on her reading list and why. Historical fiction? Murder mystery? War and Peace? (That’s our guess.)
4. What are you publishing next?
Amal has published seven incredibly detailed legal articles on topics like the Hariri assasination, Syria going to the ICC, war crimes, and Libya surrendering Gadhafi to The Hague. What is she currently working on? Why? Will George buy the rights for a screenplay?
5. What are the socioeconomic ramifications of domestic terrorism?
This is Amal’s area of expertise, and while it’s a bit deep for a soundbite, it would show that her mind is valued for more than figuring out how to land the world’s most eligible bachelor.
Only Tina Fey seemed to get it: In her opening spiel, she pointed out that Amal is a “human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, an advisor to Kofi Annan on Syria and was appointed to a three-person commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza strip. So, tonight, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”
Maybe Fey can interview her.