George Clooney Fights Fame ‘Suffocation’ With Charity Work
Actor George Clooney feels “suffocated” by his fame sometimes and to combat the pressure, he uses his celebrity status to spotlight atrocities. The 54-year-old Gravity star is well-known for his philanthropic efforts, having founded charity Not On Our Watch with fellow Hollywood A-listers Don Cheadle, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt in 2008.
Not On Our Watch is an organization devoted to providing aid and relief in addition to bringing awareness to human rights violations, such as the genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. And when being famous becomes emotionally overwhelming for him, Clooney reminds himself of the power he has to use his notoriety to help others. “Fame has an interesting element to it but if you tend to be followed round by a camera then you can feel suffocated at times,” he confessed while speaking at a genocide prevention and refugee crisis event held in Armenia on Saturday, according to UK newspaper The Independent. “I thought it might be effective if I went to those places and got those cameras to follow me and try and amplify these stories of NGOs who were doing such hard work, such dangerous work.” Clooney is married to international rights lawyer Amal Clooney and together they share the passion of ensuring civil liberties are upheld throughout the world. The actor considers himself to be very privileged and he believes most victims of violence become targets for atrocities based on social or economic factors. “I was lucky to be born where I was (in America) and not born as a young woman who was taken by Boko Haram,” he said, referring to the over 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Nigerian terrorist group in 2014. “It was lucky – luck is genetic and time and place.” “That luck needs to be spread,” he added, calling attention back to the purpose of the Armenian conference he was speaking at. “What I find beautiful about what we’re doing this weekend is we’re looking at it, we’re pointing at it, we’re amplifying it. There is an awful lot the world needs, not a handout but a hand-up.”