Clooney relishes 'traitor' attacks
US actor and director George Clooney said this morning he was proud to be denounced as unpatriotic for questioning US policy because he wanted to be on "the right side of history."
Interviewed on BBC television's Newsnight about his latest films Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck Clooney said that not only did he accept the right to be attacked for his views but he even relished them.
Clooney, who has weathered attacks since opposing the 2003 Iraq invasion, said at one point that it was "frustrating" to be listed as a "traitor" on a set of playing cards, but he also accepted people's right to free speech.
He later admitted he relished the attacks. "I think it's important to be on the right side of history," Clooney said. "I want to be on that deck of cards. And I want to be able to say that they boycotted my films... I want to be able to say I was on the cover of a magazine called a 'traitor,"' he said.
"I'm proud of those because those were badges of honour for me because that was when you did it when it was hard to do," the actor and director said.
Clooney has received critical acclaim for Syriana - about oil politics and Islamic extremism - and for Good Night, and Good Luck, a reminder of the threat to civil liberties through a story about the anti-communist hysteria in the US of the 1950s.
Clooney said Syriana did not single out US President George W. Bush's administration for attack, though it "certainly goes at this administration" as well as at 60 years of failed Middle East policy. "If it's an attack, it's because you're asking questions," Clooney said.
|That wasn't a hysteria, that was an appropriate reaction. The Commies at the time were more idealistic goo-goos who didn't understand (yet) what Stalin had done, but that didn't stop them from wanting the same system here.|
Clooney has said the chilling effect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on US politics had inspired Syriana and its unflinching look at the ways extremism and political instability are fostered by the interests of big oil.
|George C and George B agree on one thing: 60 years of American foreign policy in the Middle East has failed. George C wants to stick his head in a bucket, and George B wants to spread personal liberty, freedom and democracy. You be the judge.|
Posted by: tipper 2006-02-25