HOLLYWOOD Russia Slams Hollywood Celebrities

Russia Slams Hollywood Celebrities


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Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among a host of stars who have been baselessly accused of only speaking out on the plight of people around the world in exchange for money.

Amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has resulted in thousands of deaths, a host of Hollywood stars have publicly expressed their opinions on the matter, attracting both praise and criticism from supporters and detractors alike.

In a recent TV appearance, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova suggested that the outrage for speaking out that many of the stars are facing today should have been expressed several years ago.

Speaking with Russian TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov, Zakharova said that she “saw video clips from Israel, and other parts of the world, expressing outrage about the stance of Hollywood stars. Among them, Angelina Jolie, Bella Hadid, et al, and other colorful characters, who supported the residents of the Gaza Strip, and said that their suffering is unprecedented, etc.”

Clockwise from top left: Angelina Jolie on October 27, 2021 in London, England; Morgan Freeman on February 22, 2020 in Pasadena, California; Arnold Schwarzenegger on October 16, 2023 in Laguna Beach, California; George Clooney on May 24, 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany. The stars have been criticized by a Russian official for speaking out on the plight of people around the world affected by various conflicts.
Samir Hussein/WireImage;/Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET;//Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for The Wall Street Journal;/Tristar Media/WireImage

“Hold on a minute, tell me, are you in disbelief only now?” Zakharova asked. “Is only a part of the planet’s population surprised by what the Hollywood stars are saying? How about what they said before? Was that normal?”

Zakharova then referenced Jolie’s April 2022 visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, where the actress and former special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees met with people displaced by the war with Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson alleged that Jolie “came to Ukraine, not even understanding where she is, not knowing anything about Ukraine, except that [Ukrainian President] Volodymyr Zelensky lives there. She was reading something of paper or teleprompter.”

“You know this is another myth that many in Hollywood are so concerned about conflicts in different parts of the world, that they know by heart the names, surnames, dates the names of cities, geographical terms and say it all on camera,” Zakharova went on. “In case you didn’t know, they use a teleprompter.”

Taking aim at other celebrities, she continued: “Do you remember those video clips by Morgan Freeman, whom we love as an actor? Schwarzenegger, who became a star for many generations. They also spoke out about Ukraine not understanding what’s happening there whatsoever.

“It’s not that they didn’t know the history of Kyivan Rus, they didn’t even know it ever existed. They expressed their opinion by reading notes on paper. Where was [the criticism from] everybody then?”

Zakharova then shared the unfounded claim that celebrities only back such humanitarian causes to line their own pockets.

“Which of these stars were ready to sacrifice anything?” Zakharova asked. “They won’t utter a single word unless it’s for money.”

“I remember my first time encountering this phenomenon,” she said. “This was around 2006-2007. At the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, there was a session that I believe was about Sudan. Suddenly, showing up as the main speaker, naturally, on behalf of the Western countries that organized all this was none other than actor Clooney.

“As a young diplomat back then, I questioned, ‘Tell me, what does this have to do with Clooney? What is his involvement with the Sudan? Is he well-informed on this topic?’ … I asked, ‘Is he from there? Does he have friends from there? Why is he the speaker?’

“Do you know what the UN people and Americans said? They said, ‘This is common around here.’ I said, ‘But why?’ They said, ‘Everyone has to carry a load.’ I said, ‘But it has to be based on something.’ They said, ‘Of course, it’s based on money.’ I asked, ‘Is everything that simple?’ They said, ‘Yes, it’s that simple.'”

“When I see people from Hollywood, who speak about these things, without their voice trembling, without a single wrinkle on their face, I don’t believe them,” Zakharova added. “But I believe they were paid handsomely for it.”

Over the years, Clooney has made several trips to Sudan with his activism there costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars. He spoke out against the Sudanese regime’s atrocities, in 2003 and 2004 in the west Sudan region of Darfur. After the U.S. government designated that conflict a genocide in 2004, Clooney was among those who successfully campaigned to have the International Criminal Court indict Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Newsweek has contacted representatives of Clooney, Jolie, Freeman, and Schwarzenegger via email for comment.