The actor, director and activist says he is concerned about Hollywood’s view of activism
George Clooney has praised members of the Asian Pacific American community for the women they have helped bring to the US in the wake of the New Year’s Eve mass shooting in Las Vegas.
But the actor and director, who made his name in films including Three Kings and Syriana, also said he is concerned about the work being done in Hollywood to champion diversity.
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Speaking at the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures in New York, Clooney said he appreciated the “proud, passionate and brave” voices his community has brought to the US.
“We are the only ones who [think] like this, but I believe that Hollywood would have done the same thing and continue to do it if the political framework had allowed them to,” he said, on Friday.
But, he added: “I think what makes us different from other parts of the world is that we are supposed to. We are supposed to tell good stories.”
The Hong Kong native discussed the ways in which the media’s portrayal of activism and anti-corruption stories had changed.
“For example, for years you would hear stories about what a great job the ATF was doing in closing down illegal guns,” he said. “‘They have done a great job’. All the same kind of shots used to be used in the movies. Well, it’s the ATF that are down under the Tucson shootings last year, so it’s the ATF that got blown up this time.”
Clooney was referring to the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in which an attacker fired shots at a group of Democratic politicians and staff. Three died and 12 were injured.
He added: “What’s important is that [the NRA] continue to spread their propaganda around and they keep on telling you that this is a movement and it is about paying more money to own guns. So we get a big bang for our buck … and that is what keeps people interested.
“You have kids getting shot and you are like, you know what, why don’t we go in and get a leg over on the American way of doing things, and maybe in the end we will do the right thing? I don’t know. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t.”
Despite a growing number of voices in Hollywood stating their opposition to Donald Trump and his administration, Clooney said he was concerned about what was actually being produced.
“I get terribly depressed when I see these movies,” he said. “It is insane. There is no political life being served here. Look at some of the social dramas that are being told, how dangerous it is for some people in our society. No one is telling that story and it is killing the audience.”