George Clooney has vowed that Donald Trump will not be elected president, promising that "fear is not going to be something that drives" the United States.
Clooney spoke to reporters Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival where he stars in Jodie Foster's hostage thriller "Money Monster." Clooney, a prominent fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, insisted that Trump will not win.
"There's not going to be a President Donald Trump," Clooney said. "That's not going to happen. Fear is not going to be something that drives our country. We're not going to be scared of Muslims or immigrants or women. We're not actually afraid of anything."
Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney (who joined him on the Cannes red carpet for the premiere of "Money Monster"), last month hosted a pair of events in Los Angeles and San Francisco that raised millions for Clinton.
The actor said that Trump is the product of the collision of news and entertainment depicted in "Money Monster." In it, Clooney plays a Jim Cramer-like financial guru taken hostage live on the air by a distraught investor (Jack O'Connell). Julia Roberts co-stars as the program's producer.
"Trump is actually a result in many ways of the fact that much of the news programs didn't follow up and ask tough questions," said Clooney.
"Twenty-four-hour news doesn't mean you get more news, it means you get the same news more," he continued. "More and more and more you hear these guys, their ratings go up because they can show an empty podium saying 'Donald Trump is about to speak,' as opposed to taking those 30 seconds and saying, 'Well, let's talk about refugees,' which is the biggest crisis going on in the world right now."
For the 55-year-old Clooney, television news has been a lifelong theme. His father, Nick Clooney, was a journalist and distinguished local news anchor. Clooney's second film as a director was 2005's "Good Night, and Good Luck," his black-and-white Edward R. Murrow drama about the halcyon days of television news. As an actor in Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight," he also memorably riffed on "Network," the Sidney Lumet-Paddy Chayefsky classic of ratings-obsessed broadcast news.
"'Money Monster' talks about the evolution of what has become the cross between news and entertainment. And I think that's been a big problem. 'Network' started it," said Clooney. "Everything that Paddy Chayefsky wrote in 1975 came true."
"Money Monster," Foster's fourth film as a director, debuted in Cannes on Thursday ahead of its North American release on Friday. Critics greeted it with lukewarm reviews, though the film has drawn praise for being a rare commodity: an adult thriller with some meaning.
"This movie is talking about one of the things that I think is a great disaster in the way we inform ourselves right now," said Clooney. "We've lost the ability to get to and tell the truth and get to the facts."