George Clooney recalled his own roots as a manual laborer Friday, as he took a break from dealing with news of his recent engagement to human rights lawyer Amal Almuddin to blast one more salvo at Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn, who earlier called Clooney “molly coddled.”
To briefly recap, the George Clooney vs. Steve Wynn grudge match goes back to a group dinner at the pricey Botero Restaurant, inside one of Wynn’s Vegas pleasure palaces, held early in April. That dinner ended in acrimony when Clooney stormed out in anger over Wynn referring repeatedly to President Barack Obama as an “a******.”
The politically-based tiff briefly made headlines, then quickly faded away — until Wynn gave an interview to Bloomberg News last week in which he not only revived the dinner incident, but used the occasion to tear down George Clooney and other politically liberal Hollywood celebrities as out of touch with reality.
Wynn suggested that politically liberal Hollywood celebs support social spending because they themselves receive many perks and privileges, so they believe others should as well.
“Artists, actors, people like that, they live in a very strange bubble of their own. They’re molly coddled, they’re highly privileged. We’re talking about successful artists like George, or Barbra Streisand or any other really successful performing artist. They live in a relatively small world. The people around them are very solicitous and caring for them. They have a world view that therefore everything should be given to everybody because everything has been given to them.”
That last statement seemed to particularly touch a nerve with George Clooney, who issued a written statement to the media Friday that also served as a takedown of what he sees as Wynn’s own cloistered world view.
“He said I live in a bubble. More of a bubble than Las Vegas? Honestly? He says I’m ‘molly coddled,’ that I’m surrounded by people who coddle me. I would suggest that Mr. Wynn look to his left and right and find anyone in his sphere that says anything but ‘yes’ to him.”
The Gravity star then went on to recount his own rough road to the top, contrasting his background with what he characterized as the casino billionaire’s soft upbringing.
“I did not attend a private boys’ school,” said Clooney, referring to Wynn’s adolescent years at the elite Manlius Pebble School in upstate New York. “I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms, and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet.”
Clooney attended a public high school in his native Kentucky and then dropped out of the University of Cincinnati. He worked numerous blue-collar jobs before embarking on an acting career after failing a professional baseball tryout.
And as for how Clooney views Wynn? Clooney’s words directed at the hospitality impresario appeared to be directed as well at other members of the super-wealthy class.
“Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it,” said George Clooney. but he needs to take off his red sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with.”