George Clooney: If you think about it, Trump is a Hollywood elitist

George Clooney: If you think about it, Trump is a Hollywood elitist
“You have to make fun of these situations," George Clooney says of the fact that Donald Trump was elected president. (Alberto Pizzoli / AFP / Getty Images)

George Clooney called President Trump a “demagogue” and made the case in an interview that both POTUS and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon are a couple of those “Hollywood elitists” their supporters are quick to criticize. 

But don't mind him, he's just coping.


"As Americans, and it is one thing I'm always proud of, we tend to do a lot of dumb things over periods of time, but we're also pretty good at fixing them," Clooney said in an interview on France's Canal+, ahead of Friday's 42nd César Awards. "But we'll fix it. We have to.

"You have to make fun of these situations. Humor is an important part of it."

The Oscar winner's take on Americans' dumb things and eventual fixes included the decision to go to war in Iraq, followed by the election of "thoughtful and considerate" President Obama. Trump's victory was "hard to imagine," he said. "It catches in your throat."

Clearly, the staunch Democrat, who'll accept an honorary award Friday at France's equivalent of the Oscars, thinks his side of the aisle has better fixes — and has issues with the other side's viewpoint.

"There's a really interesting argument, and this is what makes you a little crazy," he said, calm and slightly smiling, as he was during the bulk of the congenial interview. "After Meryl spoke, everyone on that one side said, 'Well, that's elitist Hollywood speaking.' "

Well, yeah, that did happen after Meryl Streep spoke strongly against Trump during her Cecil B. DeMille acceptance speech at the Golden Globes in January. 

"You know, Donald Trump has 22 acting credits in television," Clooney pointed out. "He collects $120,000 a year in Screen Actors Guild pension fund. He is a Hollywood elitist. Steve Bannon is a failed film writer and director. That's the truth, that's what he's done. … He made a lot of money off of 'Seinfeld.' He's elitist Hollywood.

"I mean, that's the reality, if you want to look at it that way."

Clooney criticized the media, albeit more gently than many have done.

"We need the Fourth Estate — that's journalism — to hold his feet to the fire," he said. "They didn't do a very good job during the campaign, and they haven't done a particularly good job yet."