Actor George Clooney has shared that he turned down $35 million to film a one-day airline ad, but refused to to name the airline. However, he has offered us some clues.
George Clooney Turns Down $35 Million To Film Airline Ad
Speaking to The Guardian about his new film, The Tender Bar, Clooney responded to a question about whether he now has enough money with a small anecdote:
“Well, yeah. I was offered $35m for one day’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal about it and we decided it’s not worth it. It was 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.’”
(Clooney married his wife Amal, a human rights attorney, in 2014)
So which airline could it be? I feel confident narrowing the list down to the following six carriers:
Clooney directly linked the country to the airline, so it’s safe to assume that this is a state-backed carrier or at least a flag carrier.
By process of elimination, I don’t think El-Al or Etihad would spend that kind of money for a celebrity endorsement (Etihad paid millions to Nicole Kidman, but is just a shell of its former self). Why El-Al? Amal Clooney has publicly expressed concern over the treatments of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Qatar has not historically sought celebrity endorsements for Qatar Airways, though Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup next year.
Saudia certainly represents a “questionable” ally and the carrier is working very hard to rebrand itself and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a high-quality, tourist-friendly destination.
Turkish Airlines has used celebrities like Morgan Freeman and Dr. Oz in past ads, but Amal has been a strong proponent of Armenian Genocide recognition: I cannot imagine Clooney would really need to check with his wife over doing an ad for Turkish, though I would imagine $35 million is tough to turn down even for a very rich celebrity.
But I agree with One Mile At A Time that the most likely option is Emirates. Emirates paid Jennifer Anniston $5 million for an ad many years ago and spends millions on marketing. It also has a strong incentive to draw back international traffic while U.S. carriers slowly restore longhaul flights.
Paddle Your Own Kanoo notes that The National, the state-owned English language newspaper in the UAE, reported on the story, but did not mention the reason Clooney turned down the work.
George Clooney turned down $35 million to film a one-day airline commercial. He claims after consulting with his wife the two decided it was not worth it due to the questionable conduct of the country involved. He has refused to name the airline.
All I can say is that I wish I valued a good night’s sleep at $35 million…
image: Nicolas Genin
I assumed it was Air Canada.
is this a parody account?
He’s our resident humorist and we love him.
Not that I don’t think that Joe doesn’t have his occasional moments, but why do you love him? His comments are more often than not demeaning, insulting, or generally offensive. Even when they’re not, they’re usually inane.
His satire works for me. We need to laugh more. He makes me smile every day.
So the Gulf carriers (and TK) are out because of perceived current human rights abuses.
Then I’d imaging that European carries should be out as well because of colonialism and slavery. Anything dealing with China is probably out (and by extension, CX as well). JL and NH would have to be out too, I mean, Japan committed some atrocities against Koreans in the 1940s. AC and QF are out because of their treatment of indigenous people. US carriers are obviously evil. I feel like Ethiopian has lost its moral high ground these days. Is it too early to forgive South African Airways for Apartheid?
Indonesia brutally occupied East Timor, so Garuda is out. Racism issues can’t be overlooked in Singapore and Malaysia. Religious strife in India and Pakistan. With Thai you’d be endorsing corruption.
Delta’s investment in Aeromexico makes them evil. I think Mr, Clooney would probably be safest endorsing Latam, Avianca, or Copa, but their service doesn’t really meet the Clooney brand standard, so I will conclude, the only reasonable airline for Mr. Clooney to endorse would be Vietnam Airlines.
In other words, Jerry is a cheap date.
Middle seat on Spirit is fine by me as long as someone else pays for the Buzz Balls.
That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!
Due to politics as usual from lefties like clooney
What a nonsense comment.
And on cue, one of our resident lefties chimes in
It is well known that your side tolerates the likes of AOC and Ilhan Omar, who both would love nothing more than for Israel to not exist
As opposed to your side who has issues with anyone who isn’t a white Christian heterosexual? If I’m a leftie, I suppose that make you a fascist hateful conservative.
But keep throwing out those nonsense comments, they are somewhat entertaining.
So, you agree with AOC and Ilhan Omar than Israel should not exist?
About as much as you agree that Palestine shouldn’t exist, maybe?
Aaron, please stop with the division. yes, I’m sure most of this blog is white Christian heterosexuals but some of us are not. and Palestine should, of course, exist. This is about humanity. it’s about good versus evil at this point, not left versus right.
El Al, Etihad – probably doesn’t have the $35m to shell out
Qatar – has all the bloggers endorsement. BeSt BuSiNeSs ClAsS eVeR!
Emirates – already had Rachel, also already well known
I think it’s either Saudia or Turkish. Former still has 600 AD women’s rights laws, latter has a controversial regime, to say the least.
But even so, why George Clooney? Dude hasn’t had a real project in a decade+ already. Why not chase someone who’s actually current?
I am convinced it’s been Turkish, I haven’t got a clue as to who Dr Oz is, but if they have the resources to sign Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador, trying to tempt Clooney with a few million (and possibly put him in an awkward position re Armenia to boot) seems perfectly normal.
Agree , I know for fact turkish payed $70 million to messi and Kobe .
$35 m. Sounds just right what Turkish would pay .
Very good point. I forgot about Kobe.
I’m now leaning toward TK.
wake me up after armageddon. IF what he says is true, that’s complete insanity. That mindset of celebrity worship needs to go. We already are in insanity…but I digress
I certainly don’t worship him, but I think it is pretty interesting that he turned down an easy $35 million from an airline.
Say what you will, the man has character.
No, he has money. Namely Nespresso money.
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If George Clooney is so picky about human rights and is so sensitive about the subject of ethics, why did he star in a film like Three Kings which whitewashed and glorified the unimaginable brutality of the US military’s conduct in Iraq during 2001 ?
The US military is the world’s number one human rights violator AND the world’s number one polluter and is probably responsible for more human rights abuses than all the Middle Eastern governments put together.
+1 — Clooney is a LOSER.
although I do have to disagree on us being the worlds largest polluter. wouldn’t that be China?
So in your uninformed mind, no western country fits this category?
You guys have the worst human rights record but you never see yourselves for what you are.