George Clooney is calling out the world for bullying its new Duchess of Sussex.
The actor — who is friends with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and attended their wedding last year with his wife, Amal — has had enough of the media’s abuse of the royal.
During a press panel for his upcoming Hulu series, Catch-22, Clooney spoke against the negative press that seems to follow the Duchess like a dark cloud. He likened it to the way Markle’s late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, was treated when she married Prince Charles in 1981.
“They’re just chasing Meghan Markle everywhere. She’s been pursued and vilified,” Clooney told the press per Australia’s Who magazine. “She’s a woman who is seven months pregnant and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was and its history repeating itself.”
“We’ve seen how that ends,” he added, alluding to Princess Diana’s sudden death via car crash, which many believe was caused by relentless paparazzi.
Clooney also brought up a private letter Markle wrote to her father, Thomas, that was made public by the press. What was intended as a confidential correspondence between father and daughter was leaked, and the Duchess was berated for it.
“I can’t tell you how frustrating that is, just seeing them broadcast a letter from a daughter to a father,” he said. “She’s getting a raw deal there and I think it’s irresponsible and I’m surprised by that.”
This isn’t the first time Clooney has rushed to the defense of the royal family. After Princess Di’s passing in 1997, the actor expressed frustration over the media’s involvement.
“Princess Di is dead, and who should we see about that? The driver of the car? The paparazzi? Or the magazines and papers who purchased these pictures and make bounty hunters out of photographers?” he said at the time. “If you weren’t hiding behind the profession of journalism, you would be an accomplice to a crime, and you would go to jail.”
Clooney’s strong statements should be a warning not just to the media, but to anyone who’s taken an interest in the royal family — or any public figure, for that matter. In the age of social media, when nasty rumors and salacious news stay in cycle, we should be vigilant about the content we consume.
In one way or another, we are all paparazzi. It’s easy to point fingers at the media because it disperses news to the public, but the truth is we all decide what’s published based on what we click. So the next time you come across a link oozing with malice, show empathy and consider the ripple effect of your click.
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