George Clooney, famous for acting more than his political outbursts, has been in the news again recently after he was arrested. How long this status quo will last remains to be seen as we may be seeing more of “Gaol George” in the future.
On March 16th, George Clooney, along with his father, was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. after police warned him three times that he must not cross the police line, but he choose to do so anyway for whatever gain he thought this would bring.
His claims about what is happening in Sudan are contested by many Sudanese as being “well meaning, but not accurate.” This is clearly shown in the letter sent to Mr. Clooney on 18th March, two days after his arrest and subsequent $100 bail.
Sudan Change Now, a Sudanese opposition movement, published a letter to Clooney stating:
“Portraying the regional conflicts in the country as a simplified war of Arabs and Africans concerns us. It does not fully capture the historical and political aspects of the conflict considering that the Sudanese government is a dictatorship and does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of the people. The regional conflicts in Sudan are not simple and are highly political with a strong basis on economic gains such as oil and other resources.” – Sudan Tribune
Mr. Clooney rebuffed simply calling a press conference and gathering a few of his “friends with clout” to help Sudan, in favour of being arrested and giving a live interview in handcuffs. Whatever means he had chosen to bring the problems in Sudan to light George Clooney had a guaranteed following of faithful fans – mostly women – to listen to his pleas. If he chooses to work with Sudan Change Now some good may come of the union.
The first part of his speech was asking to let aid into Sudan, “Before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” but there are bigger humanitarian crises in other countries where thousands die every day.
This was followed by, “The second thing we are here to ask is a very simple thing; for the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children.”
Zimbabwe officials and government have been “randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children” for years, (and they are not the only country), yet no celebrities have come forward for that one. The Zimbabwe crisis has been going on since President Mugabe took power after a terrorist war in 1979, whereas the Sudan problem seems to have taken on greater proportions since South Sudan became independent in 2011 – last year. There has been unrest of one type or another here for many decades too.
Mr. Clooney’s protest seems linked to a recent visit to Sudan. The reason for his visit was apparently the fact he was due to testify before a US Senate committee on Sudan, but exactly why he was chosen to testify is not clear.
The incident causing George’s arrest happened the day after he met President Obama at the White House to discuss this very situation and Mr. Clooney indicated after this visit that the President was interested in this issue.
There have been many reports on George’s recent actions, but not many are favourable. Some journalists, (Eamon Murphy Associate Editor, DailyFinance.com), have gone as far as to call Clooney’s actions “selected moral outrage.”
Being the nephew of American singer Rosemary Clooney, to say nothing of having a father who was a chat show host and newscaster, undoubtedly did his career no harm, but if he is trying to gain fame by protesting about Sudan, that just might – especially when the very people he is trying to help are less than enthralled with that help. The general consensus seems to be that while no one disputes his desire to help, they do contest the things he is saying.