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Did George Clooney Turn Down $35M Turkish Airlines Commercial?

George Clooney
Actor George Clooney said he turned down $35 million dollars to appear in an airline advertisement. Credit: Abdel Moneim, CC BY 2.0

Speculation in social media is rife over which airline’s lucrative offer George Clooney turned down. The Hollywood star told The Guardian on Friday that he had to say no to a $35 million airline commercial associated with a country he said was “questionable at times.”

Clooney said that he “was offered $35 million for one day’s work for an airline commercial” but that he “talked to Amal (Clooney’s wife, the international human rights lawyer he married in 2014) about it and we decided it’s not worth it.”

The leading man explained that the airline was connected to “a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times.”

Although Clooney refrained from saying the exact name of the country, several social media commentators pointed at Turkey.

The Armenian National Committee of America celebrated Clooney’s decision in a tweet saying thank you to the actor “for turning your back on $35,000,000 for one day of work advertising the Turkish Airlines.

The Committee added that the airlines are 49 percent directly owned by Turkey’s “toxic Erdogan regime which has been implicated in human trafficking and the transportation of extremist mercenaries.”

The combative NATO ally was responsible for the Armenian Genocide, a case that is close to Clooney’s wife: she worked for Amenia in a case connected to the Armenian Genocide that was heard in the European Court of Human Rights in 2016.

Hiring American celebrities to represent Turkish Airlines is Turkey’s central strategy when promoting the brand.

George Clooney and wife Amal advocate for the return of Parthenon Marbles

Clooney and his wife have also spoken out frequently in support of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Speaking with Janet Suzman, the chairwoman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, last March, Clooney said:

“There are indeed many objects of historical value that must be returned to their original owners. However, none of them is as important as the Marbles of the Parthenon.”

Clooney then called on Britain to allow their permanent reunion in their birthplace. “The Parthenon Sculptures must be returned to their original owner,” he was reported as saying.

In a recent interview with the British Sunday paper Observer he revealed how discussions he had with his wife on the fate of the Parthenon Marbles while they were still dating helped forge a strong bond between them. Clooney’s wife was working for the government of Greece in support of their return from the British Museum.

Clooney recalled the backlash he received from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was then mayor of London, when he argued in favor of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Johnson has been outspoken in his resistance to returning the ancient objects.

Responding to Greek Reporter’s question back in 2015, Clooney said that it’s a matter of time for the Parthenon Marbles to be back home.

“I had expressed my opinion in the past and it remains the same that these pieces of art will be joined back together and it’s a matter of when and who does it.”


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