Hungarian politicians and conservative journalists slammed George Clooney as an “imbecile” who could not find their country on a map after he suggested the country’s prime minister spreads “anger and hate”, according to reports.
Speaking ahead of the release of a new post-apocalyptic film on Netflix, Clooney, 59, had said that “We weren’t in the middle of a pandemic when [making the film], but there were still all these other elements, these elements of how much hate and anger all of us are experiencing in this moment of history, all over the world,” adding: “Go to [President Jair] Bolsonaro in Brazil, or [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán in Hungary. Look around: lots of anger and hate. [The film] takes place in 2049. If you played it out this could very well be what our reality is if that kind of hate is allowed to fester.”
The remarks were poorly received in Hungary, where Orbán’s anti-mass migration and multiculturalism Fidesz party enjoys huge public support, with Hungarian politicians branding the actor an “imbecile” and, according to The Times, suggesting he “could not find Hungary on a map, even with technological help.”
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The Hungarian government’s official spokesmen were slightly more tactful, with Tamas Menczer, of the country’s foreign ministry, saying Clooney should be respected as an actor but that his words on Hungarian politics were “foolish” and “nobody should treat him like a global political oracle.”
“Let’s just say Viktor Orbán doesn’t have sleepless nights because George Clooney talks nonsense about him,” he added in a Facebook post.
Örs Farkas, a spokesman for the country’s Government Information Center, was clear on where he believed Clooney’s comments were coming from.
“There has been a dispute between [George] Soros and the Hungarian government over immigration for years, so Soros uses every opportunity to attack the Hungarian government. It is quite frustrating that there are actors, even non-political actors, who carry out such political intent for Soros,” he remarked.
Tamas Deutsch, a founder-member of Fidesz and an elected Member of the European Parliament (MEP), was more straightforward, dismissing the actor as an “American imposter talking bullshit about [our] homeland”.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 16, 2020
Clooney, for his part, denied any close connection with Soros, admitting that he met with the plutocrat at a United Nations meeting once, and with his son at one of the World Economic Forum’s summits for the political, corporate, and multimedia elite in Davos, Switzerland — but nothing more.
“I would be ashamed not to speak out publicly against the kind of authoritarianism with which the Orban regime controls the media, subjects companies to draconian tax rules and silences the free press,” he added — ironically in a statement published by the independent Hungarian news outlet Telex.
Clooney’s wife Amal Clooney, a Lebanese human rights activist with dual British citizenship, categorised Hungary alongside North Korea as an “autocratic regime” as long ago as 2018.
Hungary is a member of NATO and the European Union.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 12, 2020