George Clooney had some choice words for anyone who thinks that so-called “Hollywood elites” should stick to entertainment and stay out of politics. In an interview for French program Rencontres de Cinema, the Oscar-winning actor explained that anyone who doesn’t like those in the entertainment business to speak up should realize that both President Donald Trump and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are Hollywood elitists too.
After some friendly opening remarks, Clooney continued the conversation by pointing out that Meryl Streep, who gave a political statement at the Golden Globe awards in January, is no more a Hollywood elitist than some of those in the new administration.
“This is the part that makes me a little crazy,” said Clooney. “When Meryl spoke, everyone on that one side was like, ‘Well, Hollywood elitist Hollywood speaking’. Donald Trump has 22 acting credits. He collects $120,000 a year from a Screen Actor’s Guild pension fund. He is a Hollywood elitist.”
Trump isn’t the only one in the new administration who is making money off of entertainment: “Steve Bannon is a failed film writer and director. That’s the truth, that’s what he’s done,” said Clooney. “He wrote a Shakespearean rap musical about the LA riots that he couldn’t get made, you know, which is a shock. He made a lot of money off Seinfeld. He’s elitist. Hollywood. That’s the reality if you want to look at it that way.”
He went on to say: “When people say Meryl shouldn’t speak up — of course she should. She has every right to speak up. She’s an American citizen, and she was an American citizen a long time before she was an icon.”
Also during the interview, Clooney called Trump a demagogue, but voiced his belief that Americans will fix the problem that it has created for itself in the White House.
This isn’t the first time Clooney has criticized Trump — or the first time he has come to the defense of Streep, with whom he co-starred in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Shortly after Streep’s protest speech, Trump tweeted that Streep was “one of the most over-rated actresses.” In response, Clooney asked the president, during an interview with People, “Shouldn’t you be running the country?”
Clooney supported Hillary Clinton during the election. He spent the rest of his interview discussing a number of other topics, including a look back at his career and how he is feeling about the upcoming birth of his twins with his wife, barrister Amal Clooney. He’s currently directing a crime comedy, Suburbicon, which is written by the Coen Brothers and stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac.
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