Did George Clooney turn down a multi-million Turkish Airlines deal over human rights ?
An interview with Hollywood actor George Clooney has led to speculation he turned down tens of millions of dollars to appear in a Turkish Airlines advert over Turkey's human rights record.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper last week, Clooney said he was offered $35 million for one day’s work making a commercial for an unnamed airline but refused to take the deal after discussing it with his wife Amal Clooney, a prominent human rights lawyer.
“I talked to Amal about it and we decided it’s not worth it,” Clooney said. “It was (associated with) a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times, and so I thought: ‘Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.’”
The reference to ‘an ally’ has seen some claim the country in question was Turkey, which has repeatedly clashed with the United States over human rights issues in recent years despite being a long-standing NATO member.
Turkey was not invited to U.S. President Joe Biden’s democracy summit that began on Thursday in Washington amid concerns over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increasing authoritarianism.
Meanwhile, Amal Clooney was a key member of the legal team that brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights in 2015 over prominent Turkish nationalist Doğu Perinçek’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Turkish governments have consistently argued that the mass killings of Armenians within its territory at the end of the Ottoman Empire did not constitute a genocide.