Clooney, George: Political Speech as Honoree of Cesar Awards (French Oscars)

Receiving an honorary award at the 42nd annual Cesar ceremony in Paris on Friday night, George Clooney spoke out against the “hate” and “fear” promulgated by U.S. President Donald Trump.

He warned the audience “not to confuse dissent with disloyalty,” asserting that “we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”

In a speech that was both serious and sometimes humorous, the actor was accompanied onstage by Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist), who offered up an impromptu translation.

After thanking the French Academy and speaking about his “fascination” for the French cinema, Clooney switched to politics: “as citizens of the world, we’re going to have to work harder and harder not to let hate win.”

He added, “love Trumps hate, courage Trumps fear and always right Trump’s wrongs.”

Clooney then addressed his wife Amal, who was seated in the audience, saying how proud he was to be her husband and that he was “excited about the years, and especially the months, to come,” in allusion to the twins they are expecting this June.

After a few more mistranslations by Dujardin, Clooney concluded by citing Good Night, Good Luck‘s Edward R. Murrow, who attacked Joseph McCarthy and his Communist witch hunts in an impassioned speech from 1954: “We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men.”

He concluded with a quote from Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”