It’s not every day you see an Oscar winner in full damage-control mode.
Yet here’s George Clooney, erstwhile Sexiest Man Alive according to People magazine, making excuses for his recent fundraisers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Why, it’s almost as if he understands his box office clout is in jeopardy, and audiences might sniff some hypocrisy in play.
To backtrack, Clooney hosted two tony Clinton fundraisers this month. The events proved a one-percenters’ paradise, what with the $353,400 per ticket price tag adding up to a $15 million combined haul.
Clooney immediately started his Damage Control 2016 Tour, explaining the amounts of money raised were “obscene” but it’s all thanks to that cursed Citizens United case. He also spun the events, claiming most of the money would go toward “down ticket” Democrats. Even the hard-left Salon scoffed at the explanation.
That comes on the heels of one of 2015’s biggest disappointments, the Clooney-led “Tomorrowland.” The star also headlined recent misfires like “Monuments Men” and “Hail, Caesar!”
Does Clooney sense his star power is fading? The press oh-so-gingerly pressured him about the fundraisers, but it was hardly an old-school grilling.
He clearly feels the need to explain himself. Better yet, why not follow these tips to give his image a spit shine:
- Go Super, Man: One way to rearrange Clooney’s career in a hurry is to embrace the current superhero craze. Yes, ol’ George may be a bit too old to play most caped crusaders. He would be a great Reed Richards if someone re-rebooted “The Fantastic Four,” though. He still could play a key role or even go against type and be a villain. They often have the most fun anyway. That would put him directly in the Comic-Con universe, and out of the political filmmaking business for a while.
- Go Low Profile: Plenty of stars give ’til it hurts when it comes to political causes. Others shout their support from the rafters. Clooney not only threw fundraisers that made every Bernie Sanders supporter wince, he also famously met with President Obama to talk about geopolitical matters during Obama’s first term. Really? Aren’t we about to guffaw over the odd alliance between a rock superstar and a president in “Nixon and Elvis”?
- Go Far, Far Away from Lectures: Clooney’s upcoming “Money Monster” looks like another op-ed masquerading as a feature film. He plays a Jim Cramer type held hostage by a spurned investor burned by recent fiscal events. The film’s trailer plays up the thriller angle, but it’s clear the movie has more on its mind than nail-biting moments. Here’s what Clooney told Entertainment Tonight about the project. “We love the idea of talking about the world of money and how it’s gotten out of control … and when those things go wrong, the little guy gets screwed.” No one knows the “little guy” better than Clooney. It’s what we’ve come to expect from Clooney lately, and for those who don’t embrace his progressive worldview it’s hardly box office catnip.
Christian Toto is a freelance writer and editor of HollywoodInToto.com