Actor George Clooney rarely speaks out about what’s printed in tabloids, but he said a recent Daily Mail story raised concerns about the damage these “idiotic” articles can wreak. DFree / Shutterstock.com
After the British tabloid Daily Mail printed a story (which was picked up by newspapers all over the world) that alleged his fiancee’s mother is not in favor of her daughter’s marriage on “religious grounds,” George Clooney decided to speak out about “irresponsible” journalism and the “violent” effects this negligence can have. The story is “entirely fabricated” and went beyond slander to “larger issues,” the actor contended. Unlike what the newspaper reported, he said, fiancee Amal Alamuddin’s mother, Baria Alamuddin, has not been to Beirut in recent years, nor is she Druze, nor is she against their marriage “in any way.”
“[The Daily Mail story] says Amal’s mother has been telling ‘half of Beirut’ that she’s against the wedding. It says they joke about traditions in the Druze religion that end up with the death of the bride. Let me repeat that: the death of the bride,” [wrote George Clooney in a statement.] “The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous.
We have family members all over the world, and the idea that someone would inflame any part of that world for the sole reason of selling papers should be criminal.”
Clooney, 53, whose father was a TV journalist and broadcaster, continued: “I’m the son of a newsman; I accept the idea that freedom of speech can be an inconvenience to my private life from time to time.”
But he was concerned by the fact that the Mail’s false story had been picked up by hundreds of other outlets, such as Boston.com, New York Daily News, Gulf News and Emirates 24/7.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata