Back in March of 2016, George Clooney slammed then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The left-handed swipe came in the form of an e-mail pitch that was sent to supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“If you listen to the loudest voices out there today, you’d think we’re a country that hates Mexicans, hates Muslims, and thinks that committing war crimes is the best way to make America great again,” Clooney wrote.
The actor claimed that “the only thing that would prevent America from being great would be to empower these voices.”
In April of 2016, Clooney’s wife Amal joined in the fray, attacking Trump by echoing some of the criticisms that had been lodged at the Republican presidential hopeful for his stance on border security and control of the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
“When you listen to what the leading Republican candidate has been saying about building walls, about excluding Mexicans and saying there has to be a complete shutdown [of] all Muslims entering the country . . . he kept saying, ‘They only want jihad, they don’t believe in our way of life, they don’t respect our system,’” Amal said.
More recently, while Clooney was attending the Cannes Film Festival he was asked whether his new film “Money Monster” depicted a future under a Trump administration.
“Let’s start much simpler,” Clooney replied. “There’s not going to be a President Donald Trump.”
“It’s not going to happen because fear is not going to be something that drives our country. We’re not going to be scared of Muslims or immigrants or women. We’re not actually afraid of anything, so we are not going to use fear. It’s not going to be an issue,” he added.
Clooney claimed that Trump has been successful because the media have not been diligent enough in their interrogations of the now-presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
“Trump is actually a result in many ways of the fact that much of the news programs didn’t follow up and ask tough questions,” he said.
As Trump reflexively responds when attacked, he let loose with a verbal counterpunch during a “Fox & Friends” interview, saying, “As far as George Clooney is concerned, let’s put it this way — he’s no Cary Grant.”
Whether intentional or not, Trump’s invoking of the iconic name of Cary Grant was more than just a mere contrast between two cinematic notables. Grant was not only the definitive leading man of his time, the legendary Hollywood movie star experienced what the Atlantic called “the most spectacular run ever for an actor in American pictures.”
Unfortunately for Clooney’s career, his most recent release, “Money Monster,” is underperforming at the box office. With a production budget of $27 million, the film took in $15 million in its weekend debut.
The film was not particularly well received by the critic community or by participants of the chief movie -related polling outfit. On the Rotten Tomatoes web site, “Money Monster” garnered the un-Clooney-like rating of 57 percent. Additionally, audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the movie a not-so-stellar grade of “B plus.”
Considering the combined star power that Clooney, co-star Julia Roberts, and director Jodie Foster theoretically possess, it is that much more surprising to Hollywood insiders that “Money Monster” performed as tepidly as it did in its debut.
Further evidence may indicate that Clooney may be experiencing a stall in his career. His latest movie comes on the heels of a prior film that flopped in its February 2016 premiere, “Hail, Caesar!”
Not to worry, though, the Hollywood power player may be gearing up to switch stages. He has spoken out publicly that there may be a possible run for political office in his future.
Curiously, although Clooney’s political views appear to be more closely in tune with the ideology of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, he nevertheless has been hosting fundraisers and lending his public support to Sanders’ rival, Hillary. Perhaps Clooney has a hunch that his future political plans would be better served by cozying up to the Democratic establishment.
If he does take the political plunge, there are some issues with which Clooney may have to grapple. For a lot of folks in Hollywood, internal conflicts arise when idealistic notions are juxtaposed with the realities of the political process, particularly when it comes to the financially related components, i.e., the attendant money required and enormous degree of resources that are needed for public office seekers to be able to effectively compete in election contests.
In Clooney’s case, a dissonance of sorts may exist. On one hand, the actor’s name has been heavily associated with the financing facets of high-profile campaigns. He has raised, and continues to help round up, massive amounts of money for Hillary.
And in prior instances, he provided hefty assists to the campaign coffers of President Obama in his 2012 presidential bid. As a co-host of an event, Clooney actually brought in the largest haul ever gathered in a single fundraising evening.
On the other hand, Clooney is still railing about all of the excessive amounts of money in politics. Oddly, after the actor had just finished hosting a $33,400 per-plate Hillary fundraiser, with the cost for a couple to sit at the head table being more than $353,000, he seemed to demean his own campaign finance role, through comments that he made during a television appearance.
“It is an obscene amount of money,” Clooney said in an interview with NBC News. “The Sanders campaign, when they talk about it, is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.”
Supporters of Sanders had protested the Clooney fundraisers; however, Clooney told NBC that he actually held the same views as the demonstrators.
“They’re right to protest. They’re absolutely right,” the actor said.
And then he likely went on to plan another big fundraiser.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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