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Actor George Clooney declared that the “dark ages” of President Trump are now behind the nation.
Speaking at the Museum of Modern Art Film Benefit this week after several stars paid tribute to his film career and philanthropy, Clooney looked upon the future of the country with eyes of hope.
“We have faced an overwhelming threat that has affected people all over the world. But what I want to say to all of you is that we’re going to get through it. This scourge that’s disrupted so many lives, it’s terrified us, wrecked our economy, left us feeling like there’s no hope,” said Clooney, as reported by Newsbusters.
Clooney even went on to joke that Trump’s presidency was worse than the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will soon say goodbye to the dark ages. Goodbye to fear. Goodbye to doubt. Goodbye to the anxiety. Once this is over and Trump’s out of office, we should probably do something about COVID, too,” he added.
Clooney’s statement about the “dark ages” of President Trump came after he was listed among PEOPLE magazine’s “People of the Year” for 2020, and told the magazine that America has much to atone for due to its past history of racism. In the profile, Clooney insisted, though, that he has not given up believing in the country’s fighting spirit.
“I grew up in a generation where all the people that mattered to us were being murdered, from Martin Luther King to Bobby and Jack Kennedy to Malcolm X and Medgar Evers, and all these things that counted were going on, with women’s rights, civil rights, the anti-Vietnam [war protests],” Clooney told the magazine.
“You had to be involved. My mother and father were involved, and we were [taught] it is your civic duty… I remember my father saying, ‘Don’t come back and look me in the eye unless you stand up to [bullies and racists].’ I’m glad to have been raised that way,” he added.
After PEOPLE listed the actor’s various philanthropic initiatives throughout his career, Clooney said that even though the country has failed many times, he does not consider the United States a failed state.
“I’m always optimistic about this country. We fail a great deal, but I’ve been to so many countries that are really failed states, and they look to this country for leadership,” he said. “We come up short a lot—race being our great original sin and clearly the one we’ve been the worst at—but we are in the constant process of trying to find a more perfect union… You can’t give up. I believe in the American spirit.”
Reflecting on his own children, the star said he does not want his twins to grow up and reflect upon a time in which children were being put in cages.
“I’m in the same situation as most fathers of 3-year-olds: I don’t want my children when they’re 15 years old to turn around and say, ‘There was a time when they were putting kids in cages?… And what did you do about that?’ And if the answer is ‘nothing,’ then I would be ashamed,” he said.