GEORGE Clooney could do no wrong. Seriously, he just can’t. At 50, Clooney is one of the hottest leading men in Hollywood and still manages to get many hearts a-flutter with his boyish good-looks and charm.
He is also known for his generosity and humanitarian work. So when news broke last Friday that the actor was arrested in Washington D.C. during a protest against the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, people were shocked.
The actor, his father Nick and other prominent activists were arrested for proceeding with their march even after authorities issued three warnings to not cross a police blockade.
Clooney has always been passionate about the crisis-stricken Sudan and has been vocal about the attention and help its people needs.
He has proven many times that he would go to any length to raise awareness on the plight of the Sudanese, and getting arrested last week understandably brought more attention to the cause.
However, what surprised people more was how Clooney reacted after publicly getting arrested in front of the Sudan embassy in Washington D.C.
Instead of showing any remorse for flouting authorities, video footage of the scene showed the actor smiling throughout the whole ordeal as police escorted him and the other activists into a vehicle.
He was booked at a local police station and the public is still waiting to see his infamous mugshot. The actor was released later that afternoon after paying a US$100 (RM300) fine, and when gossip website TMZ’s reporter caught up with him, he showed no embarrassment over his arrest.
There are even reports that the actor made jokes about his short stint in jail. The TMZ reporter asked Clooney who was on the receiving end of the first phone call (in the United States, a person who is arrested is given a chance to make one phone call), and instead of his current girlfriend Stacy Keibler, Clooney revealed that he had called the other prominent woman in his life – his mother.
“Some things never change,” the actor was reported as saying with a chuckle. Some people feel that Clooney’s nonchalant reaction may give the wrong impression to his young fans.
They fear that kids may think defying authorities and getting arrested is the next coolest thing to do. The Internet was abuzz with the news of Clooney’s arrest – some commended the actor for his “bravery” while others condemned his arrogance and stupidity.
“Although I agree with the cause against (Sudanese President Omar) Al-Bashir, Clooney should know better than to cross a police line when he was warned three times to back off,” said someone in a public forum.
“It’s sad that Clooney trivialised the whole incident, making it seem as if it’s okay to go to jail. It’s not cool to go to jail. Never. What kind of message is he trying to send to the kids who look up to him?” asked an angry commentor.
Unfortunately, the same can be asked about British comedian Russell Brand who also got arrested last week for “stealing” an iPhone.
An arrest warrant was issued after the incident and the actor turned himself in on Thursday afternoon. According to E! Online, the “theft” took place last week in New Orleans, when Brand reportedly snatched a photographer’s phone and threw it into a nearby building through a window.
The photographer in question, Timothy Jackson, said that Brand had approached him in his car as he was trying to capture a shot of the actor.
The actor was then charged with “simple criminal damage” to property valued at US$700 (RM2100). Brand, known for his twisted sense of humour, had earlier joked about the incident before his arrest.
He told his Twitter followers that he threw the iPhone in honour of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. His tweet from @rustyrockets said: “Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iphone irreverently. what I did was a tribute to his memory.”
Once again the folks on the Internet went to town with Brand’s reaction to his arrest.
They claimed that his tweet was irresponsible and his fans, especially the young ones, could use it as a license to vandalise people’s properties.
“Celebrities should remember that there are young people who copy all their acts. They should be more responsible when caught doing something against the law. Don’t make it look cool!,” said one tweet.
“Any chance he could get the death penalty? Just askin’,” asked someone on Huffington Post.
Sharm says: It’s never cool to get arrested. Just ask Lindsay Lohan.