“A lot more people know about Darfur, but absolutely nothing is different. Absolutely nothing.”
George Clooney has been involved in a lot over the past month attempting to draw attention to the crisis in Darfur. He’s had a 14-year-old border guard shove a machine gun at his chest, recovered from malaria, and been helicoptered out of N’Djamena, Chad, in a sandstorm three days before rebels sacked it. Not the standard lifestyle of a mega-movie star. But then again, this guy’s got a UN passport. “It says ‘Messenger of Peace’ on it,” George quips. “It’s very cool.”
In the latest issue of TIME magazine, reporter Joel Stein recounts the discussions he had with Clooney while having him over for dinner. It’s a great story (I mean, what would you cook for the guy?) and there are some real revealing frustrations over his activism and the effect, if any, it’s having on people. Here’s a highlight:
“I’ve been very depressed since I got back. I’m terrified that it isn’t in any way helping. That bringing attention can cause more damage. You dig a well or build a health-care facility and they’re a target for somebody.”
The organization Clooney helped create, Not On Our Watch, has raised more than $9 million so far. Obviously, it has to feel frustrating to have contributed so much, but be left with a growing problem that’s still in desperate need of support. I’ve no doubt that Clooney will continued to stay involved, but it’s only human to face such obstacles and wonder if it’s doing any good. Most likely, however, as with others that give, that kindness has been repaid a hundred times over by thankful people the world over.
Check out the interview to read more on Clooney’s electric car and why he refuses gift bags. “Rich famous people getting free s___ looks bad.”
Photo credit: Sam Jones