George Clooney: Trump, Bannon ‘Hollywood elitists’
BY JUDY KURTZ
George Clooney is pushing back against critics who bash movie stars for speaking out about politics, saying President Trump and White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon are the real “Hollywood elitists.”
“When Meryl [Streep] spoke, everyone on that one side said, ‘Well that’s elitist Hollywood speaking.’ Donald Trump has 22 acting credits in television,” Clooney said in an interview over the weekend with the French network Canal+.
Streep slammed Trump in an emotional speech, which went viral, at the Golden Globe Awards last month.
But former “Celebrity Apprentice” star Trump, Clooney said, “Collects $120,000 a year from his Screen Actors Guild pension fund. He is a Hollywood elitist.”
“Steve Bannon is a failed film writer and director. That’s the truth, that’s what he’s done,” Clooney said with a slight grin. “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.”
Saying Streep had “every right to speak up,” Clooney, 55, told the French cable network, “She was an American citizen long before she was an icon.”
Clooney called on journalists to put the pressure on Trump while criticizing the press for what he described as a poor performance during the 2016 election.
“We have a demagogue in the White House. We need the fourth estate, which is journalists, to hold his feet to the fire.”
“They didn’t do a very good job during the campaign. And they haven’t done a particularly good job yet. But those things will change,” the Oscar winner and “Money Monster” star said.
Clooney — who predicted last May that Trump wouldn’t win the White House — said having the real estate mogul occupy the Oval Office is still “hard to imagine. It still catches in your throat.”
“But we’ll fix it,” Clooney said. “We have to.”