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Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

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Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

Post by Katiedot on Sat Feb 13 2016, 00:17

Interesting . . .

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Kelly McParland: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?
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Kelly McParland | February 12, 2016 | Last Updated: Feb 12 1:29 PM ET
More from Kelly McParland | @KellyMcParland
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Photo by Guido Bergmann/Getty Images)George and Amal Clooney meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin
There can’t be many political leaders with more pressing schedules than German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Fresh off preventing a bankruptcy in Greece and possible collapse of the eurozone, she is now struggling with a refugee crisis that threatens the unity of the European Union and the open-border policy that lies at its core. Her government is in danger, her own allies may be conspiring against her and the spectre of German extremism is once again raising its vile snout. Oh, and by the way, there is also the matter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his aggressive military build-up to worry about.
Nonetheless, Merkel found time for a private meeting with actor George Clooney and his wife Amal, to discuss the situation in Syria and the refugee crisis it produced. Clooney, of course, is among the most glamorous figures in Hollywood. Amal Clooney must be the world’s most recognized human rights lawyer. Both have demonstrated their commitment to international harmony. Clooney was a UN “messenger for peace” for six years until stepping down due to a lack of time after he got married.
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David Boily/AFP/Getty ImagesPaul McCartney and then-wife Heather Mills get close to a seal pup on the Gulf of St-Lawrence in 2006.


While no one doubts the couple’s sincerity, there are any number of sincere and committed people in the world working hard for peace, and no doubt under more difficult and dangerous conditions than the Clooneys. Their advantage is fame. Clooney happens to be in Berlin to promote his latest movie, in which he plays an actor playing a Roman warrior. They were accompanied to the session with Merkel by David Miliband, Britain’s former foreign secretary and head of the International Rescue Committee.

One wonders what they could bring to the crisis that hasn’t already been pondered. Miliband said Clooney expressed his support for Merkel and praised her open-door policy. How nice for her.

In Switzerland last month any number of celebrities were on hand to share their views. Kevin Spacey brought the expertise he’s gained from playing a murderous U.S. president in the hit Netflix series House of Cards. Of course Bono was there too, having become a fixture at international elbow-rubbing affairs. And Leonardo DiCaprio met with our own prime minister, Justin Trudeau, perhaps to explain how he mistook an Alberta chinook wind for an international climate emergency.

The DiCaprio incident demonstrated what comes from confusing celebrity with credibility. For many people, unfortunately, fame is all that’s required to cement the presumption of expertise. As home to the oilsands, Alberta has struggled often with this conundrum: Neil Young turning up for a drive-by smear job, DiCaprio confusing wind with Armageddon, director James Cameron agreeing to a three-day tour, only after having condemned the oil industry from afar. Paul McCartney once popped up on an East Coast ice floe to condemn the seal hunt, but seems to have lost the passion since divorcing his wife.
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(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Celebrity activism might be harmless, if not for the fact it impacts real lives. It’s easy, while cooling your heels by the pool in Malibu, to dismiss entire industries while ignoring the potential impact on the livelihoods of millions. It’s similarly easy to offer glib prescriptions for complex global issues that confound the efforts of people with far greater expertise who have devoted their lives to seeking solutions. Any number of innocent children have been put at risk through the ill-informed anti-vaccine movement of model and TV host Jenny McCarthy.


In the United States, the cult of celebrity has reached an alarming stage. Donald Trump, a man with no political experience and a dubious business record, could well become the Republican Party’s nominee for president, due overwhelmingly to his fame. Trump is an ignorant crank and his “policies” as such are the simplistic talk of the angry and uninformed: he’d build a wall against immigrants, he’d ban Muslims, he’d get the Chinese government to make North Korea’s president “disappear.” It’s fun talk for late-night talk shows, but it has no place in a serious national discussion. If not for his celebrity, Trump wouldn’t be accorded a moment’s notice. As it is, he could become president.

There will always be people willing to offer respect based on name recognition. Gossip columns and entertainment news have their place. But it’s a mistake to run the world on the basis that fame is somehow related to wisdom. Playing Caesar doesn’t make you Caesar.
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Re: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

Post by Donnamarie on Sat Feb 13 2016, 03:00

Celebrities always get attacked for their insincerity when supporting causes.  But many do good and thoughtful work.  Bono certainly does.  And George has been very committed and serious about his work in Darfur and the Sudan.  For many years.

What the hell has Kelly McParland done lately for humanity?

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Re: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

Post by LizzyNY on Sat Feb 13 2016, 03:14

Donnamaarie - We don't agree that often, but this time I'm with you 100%! Kelly McParland throws all celebrity activists into the same category of glib, misinformed or uninformed dilettantes who do more harm than good. IMO she's only showing her own ignorance.

To include Trump in the same category as the rest of the people she mentions is just insulting.

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Re: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

Post by Katiedot on Sat Feb 13 2016, 13:20

Donnamarie wrote:Celebrities always get attacked for their insincerity when supporting causes.
I think that's because many of them are insincere in their causes.  George, on the other hand, has ALWAYS been so passionate about making the world a better place.  I have no doubts at all that he's genuinely interested in the refugee crisis. 

What he can actually and meaningfully achieve, on the other hand, is something I have my doubts about.  But I'm glad he's looking into things.

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Re: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

Post by annemarie on Sat Feb 13 2016, 14:10

I don't think he can do much except shine a light on what is happening and how much more  needs to be done.

Even it the results are negative towards him at least people know and are talking about this.

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Re: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

Post by Donnamarie on Sat Feb 13 2016, 16:48

E
Katiedot wrote:
Donnamarie wrote:Celebrities always get attacked for their insincerity when supporting causes.
I think that's because many of them are insincere in their causes.  George, on the other hand, has ALWAYS been so passionate about making the world a better place.  I have no doubts at all that he's genuinely interested in the refugee crisis. 

What he can actually and meaningfully achieve, on the other hand, is something I have my doubts about.  But I'm glad he's looking into things.

Agree Katiedot that there are a number of celebs who don't invest that much time or effort in supporting their cause of choice.  But there are a number of them who do.  They spend a great deal of time to work on issues passionate to them.  So to me it's unfair and inaccurate reporting on McParland's part to make such a blanket claim.  But of course makes for a better headline and story.  I think this guy should have done his homework if he wanted to call out the Hollywood community. It's so easy for people to criticize.

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Re: Can George Clooney save the world, or will he need help from Brad Pitt?

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