On Friday, popular actor George Clooney was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC. After his arrest, he appeared on Fox News Sunday, where he accused Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, of “Bombing indiscriiminate, innocent civilians with Antonov planes.”
While many US citizens are likely unaware of the situation going on currently in Sudan or other issues across the world, it certainly helps to raise awareness when their celebrity idols are speaking out on behalf of a particular cause.
Clooney has explained his point of view, and many people are probably more likely to tune in when he describes it. He is quoted saying “al-Bashir has programmed his citizens to live in fear, thus limiting their chances of survival.” He goes on to say, “They kill people – one village we were in, there were 34 people killed in the last two months, and its a small village – so they kill people, but more than that, they’re keeping them hiding in the rocks, in the caves, so that they can’t farm, and they miss their planting season this year. This is the oldest society in the world, if you read the Bible. These people have been there forever, and now they’re not going to be able to feed themselves coming up in the next few months.”
He realizes that his celebrity status is a great way to bring attention to the situation in Sudan. He also mentions his father, who is a journalist. His father would be frustrated during his career when his articles would be overlooked by the going-ons of Hollywood. George wanted to make a story that counted and that made people talk about what is going on.
He also did not mind the fact that he was arrested. He said that he has always been politically minded and sociallly responsible. He felt the need to be involved in this cause and believed that it was his responsibility to “participate in the human condition, one way or another”.
I think it is great that someone as big as George Clooney is willing to publicly stand up for a cause like this. When you are a public figure, there is always going to be negative press and backlash for your actions. It is reassuring to see that he was arrested for something like this as opposed to the usual celebrity arrests for things like drinking and driving.