George Clooney has a response to people who think celebrities shouldn’t talk politics, citing Donald Trump’s hypocrisy in denouncing Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech earlier this year.
“When Meryl spoke, everyone on that one side was, ‘Well that’s elitist Hollywood speaking,'” Clooney said in an interview with the French news network Canal+. “Donald Trump has 22 acting credits in television… He collects $120,000 a year in his Screen Actors Guild pension fund. He is a Hollywood elitist.”
Previous to his run for president, Trump was the host of NBC’s “The Apprentice” and “The Celebrity Apprentice.” He’s also made several cameos in film and TV shows like “Home Alone 2” and “The Nanny.” According to Bloomberg, Trump submitted a financial disclosure in 2015 that said he gets a $110,223 pension from the Screen Actors Guild.
About Steven Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Clooney said, “Steve Bannon is a failed film writer and director. That’s the truth, that’s what he’s done. He wrote a Shakespearean rap musical about the L.A. riots that he couldn’t get made. He made a lot of money off of Seinfeld. He’s elitist Hollywood, I mean that’s the reality.”
At the Golden Globes in January, Streep dedicated a large portion of her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award to deriding Trump.
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back,” Streep said, referring to an incident during one of Trump’s campaign speeches in 2015. “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”
“[This] instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing,” the actress continued.
Trump fired back on Twitter, calling the actress overrated.
Clooney now says the Oscar-winner has “every right to speak up.”
“She was an American citizen long before she was an icon,” he said.