What’s the Deal with George Clooney?

Published: March 20, 2009

By Jim Lichtman
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Doesn’t he know that movie stars belong in the tabloids… police arrested… D.U.I. photo on TMZ?

What’s this, Ann Curry interviewing him in Darfur?

Must be a movie shoot or something.  I turn up the volume.

Watching the NBC Dateline story, I learn that Clooney has travelled to Darfur a number of times not only in his role as United Nations messenger of peace but because he doesn’t want people to forget.

“The problem is, how do you keep it new,” Clooney says, “how do you remind people that each one of these is an individual… who grew up with a family and a story. And we forget that after a while. It becomes numbers.”

“And the numbers are staggering,” Curry reports. “A war that began as a crackdown on anti-government rebels six years ago has driven 2.5 million civilians from their homes. An estimated 300,000 have lost their lives as Sudanese troops and government-led Arab militias continue to target black African tribes.”

For Clooney, it’s not a role, it’s a mission; a mission that motivates him to come back time and again.

“I was here three years ago,” Clooney says, “and in some ways there isn’t a whole lot of difference. It’s sort of status quo. And the problem with that is that the status quo is unacceptable, at any level, for anybody.

“If there is any chance you can shine a light on it, and if you don’t, it’s irresponsible,” Clooney says.  “We want [President Obama] to appoint a high-end, full-time diplomat to work hard on a negotiation for a peace treaty.”

And after his meeting with Obama and Vice-President Biden?

“They said they would appoint a full-time, high-level envoy that would report directly to the White House, which I think is a huge step,” Clooney says.

Ethicist Michael Josephson reminds us that “an ethical person acknowledges a civic duty that extends beyond one’s self-interest, demonstrating social consciousness and recognizing one’s obligations to contribute to the overall public good.”

As world citizens, we have a responsibility to make this world a little better than we leave it.

As Clooney says, “There’s a lot more responsibility with this one than with an Oscar, which all you really have to do is… drink after the party.”

I knew it!  I knew if we looked hard enough we’d find some dirt.

Thanks, George!


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