Thursday, May 24, 2007

George Clooney - an apology

As my friends know, I am a die-hard campaigner for ANYTHING that will help end the genocide in Darfur. I badger everyone I meet, I sign all my emails with "join please", I sign petitions, I make phone calls, I give money etc etc. And I was over the moon when PokerStars decided to give $1 million to the Not on Our Watch charity started by George Clooney and other members of the Ocean's 13 cast.

However, in my zeal to publicise the upcoming charity tournament on May 27 on PokerStars (in which the entire prize pool will be going to NOOW and be matched, $ for $, by PokerStars), I unwittingly upset Mr Clooney.

My blog implied that Mr Clooney had only recently got involved with the Darfur crisis - and quite SOME TIME after me. THIS IS NOT TRUE!!! I worded it badly (I have since re-worded it) and Mr Clooney was understandably pissed off.

His response was:

"Mad, didn't you catch the speech I gave at the UN last year? You know, the one which made headlines around the world, with video highlights on all major news channels?"

"If you don't believe me, you can look here, read the stories and even see the performance I gave - one of my best, I think. "

"But you take me for some craven arriviste ("Now George Clooney has got involved")? I may be regularly voted Hollywood's Most Desirable, but I have a keen polical conscience and I've been committed to this cause longer than any member of the House of Representatives."

"Try Googling "George Clooney" and "Darfur" and just count the hits baby!"
(I did: the answer is 728. )

Anyway, apart from being understandably thrilled that Mr Clooney reads my blog and calls me baby, I am truly and humbly apologetic - mainly because without George Clooney's involvement, far far fewer people in the world would know what's going on in Darfur.


Dear George - I'm deeply sorry if I have offended you. I am totally aware of all the work you have done to make people aware of Darfur. If it hadn't been for you, savedarfur would have FAR fewer members, including myself. As far as I know, they helped facilitate your visit to Darfur and that put their campaign - and the crisis - on the map.

Your involvement gave me the assurance I needed, when I first came across their website, that savedarfur was a bonafide organisation (it could just have been an elaborate web hoax for all I knew) and I have been vigorously supporting them ever since. It is not the fact that you are a star(!), simply the fact that your involvement proved they were authentic.

I am also TOTALLY aware that you are not a "craven arriviste" - as far as I know, you have been an activist forever and make the best use possible of the fact that you are, undeniably, the Most Attractive Man in the World. But it's only your politics that make you attractive to me! (ahem).

Your efforts and involvement have been one of the most important factors in helping turn around the situation in Darfur. It has ENSURED it gets coverage. And I am also thrilled you have set up NOOW which has a wider remit than savedarfur.

All I was doing was trying to drum up business for the next tourney. Sorry for causing offence - and do please play!!! May 27, 15:30 ET. I'll be there under the user id travismiller (I came 7th in the last one and won a signed DVD of your new film)

Love Mad