George Clooney has never been afraid of sharing his opinions even at the risk of cutting into his popularity. In a similar, yet considerably less annoying way as Susan Sarandon, Clooney has used his celebrity status to share his political beliefs and promote organizations that he supports. This is one of the perks of being a celebrity and George Clooney has never shied from it. As the paparazzi follows him everywhere invading his privacy, Clooney uses them to amplify his voice.
George Clooney in an interview with James Fleming Jr.
This is not one of those cases, this is George Clooney sitting down for an interview with James Fleming Jr. in an exclusive with Deadline.com. Working on post-production for his latest directing effort in Italy he sat down with Mr. Fleming describing the difficulty in getting a period piece, or art-house film, green-lighted by the larger studios despite their occasional success and myriad awards. This is George Clooney, a man who keeps a framed picture of himself in the Batman costume in his office to remind him the troubles he has with Hollywood tent-pole films.
Loeb ill prepared to speak of Sony according to Clooney
Then Mr. Clooney shifted his attention to Daniel Loeb, whom he believes to be a faux-activist and a man ill prepared to speak on the subject of Hollywood or Sony Pictures, despite his hedge fund holding 7 percent of Sony’s stock and he does not pull his punches with Loeb.
“…….How any hedge fund guy can call for responsibility is beyond me, because if you look at those guys, there is no conscience at work. It is a business that is only about creating wealth, where when they fail, they get bailed out and where nobody gets fired. A guy from a hedge fund entity is the single least qualified person to be making these kinds of judgments, and he is dangerous to our industry.”
And then some name calling ensued.
“[Loeb] calls himself an activist investor, and I would call him a carpet bagger, and one who is trying to spread a climate of fear that pushes studios to want to make only tent poles,” Clooney said.
While Clooney is not a fan of the banking or finance industry as a whole, he really seems to dislike Loeb when he continues with, “Hedge fund guys do not create jobs, and we do,” he said. “On the movie we just made, we put 300 people to work every day. I’m talking about nice, regular people, and when we shot in a town, we’d put another 300 people to work. This is an industry that thrives; there are thousands of workers who make films. You want to see what happens if outside forces start to scare the industry and studios just make tent poles out of fear? You will see a lot of crap coming out.”
This investment of which Clooney speaks puts him surprisingly up to date with a discussion that just saw $471 billion added to the GDP on Wednesday when Hollywood’s investments were added to the measuring of the aggregate economy.