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The Politics of George Clooney, Actor and Liberal Activist


The Politics of George Clooney, Actor and Liberal Activist

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In his Oscar acceptance speech on March 5, 2006, George Clooney proudly proclaimed his liberal values, "Listen, I don't quite know how you compare art.....They are stellar performances and wonderful work, and I'm honored, truly honored to be up here.

And finally, I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while. I think it's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talk about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this Academy. Proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch. And I thank you so much for this."

Politics in Clooney Films The first Clooney-starring film with a politically-infused message was The Peacemaker, in 1997, in which a nuclear scientist (Nicole Kidman) and military intelligence officer (Clooney) team to stop a terrorist and a Russian mercenary who've stolen nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union.

Other Clooney films released through March 2006, with political and related themes are:

-- The Thin Red Line (1998) - He played a small role in this World War II story about a squad of American troops fighting the Japanese during the battle of Guadalcanal Island. The film examines the peace of the islanders and the chaos brought by war, and the randomness of life and death in wartime.

-- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) - Clooney did a major voice-over for this animated feature of the infamous South Park third-graders who spur a tongue-in-cheek war between the US and Canada.

-- Three Kings (1999) - At the Gulf War's end, four US soldiers come across a potential jackpot: a rolled up treasure map to Saddam Hussein's stashes of confiscated gold hidden bewteen the buttocks of a captured soldier. While pursuing selfish gain, the men collide with Iraqi civilians and experience a different side of the war.

-- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) - Based on the life of Chuck Barris, who claimed dual careers as loony game-show host and CIA operative for the US government. Also directed by Clooney.

-- Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) - Taking place during the early days of broadcast journalism in 1950's America, this film chronicles the real-life conflict between newsman Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee. In a political climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS news crew persists. McCarthy is brought before the Senate and made powerless as his lies and bullying tactics are finally uncovered. Geroge Clooney was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for this film.

-- Syriana (2005) - In this political thriller that unfolds against the intrigue of the global oil industry, Clooney plays the role of career CIA operative who disturbing truths about the work to which he has devoted his life. He won the 2006 Best Supporting Oscar and a Gloden Globe for this role.
When asked in 2005 by German magazine, Brigitte, why conservatives continually vilify liberals, Clooney succinctly summed up liberalism....

"It's quite amazing that 'liberal' nowadays has become a swear word as in the history of our country it always meant to be on the side of justice. It started with the witchhunt in Salem, the conservatives' point of view was: 'Burn them at the stake', and the liberals' point of view was: 'There are no witches.'

And that's how it continued with the civil rights movement and womens suffrage. The liberals were always right in the end.

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