If you needed another reason to totally mistrust the tabloids, read on; Hello! magazine reportedly completely fabricated an “exclusive” interview with George Clooney. The UK-based magazine has issued an apology to George Clooney and his wife, CBS 46 reports, for publishing the completely fabricated interview that was marketed to readers as being exclusive. In reality, the fabricated George Clooney interview was nothing but old material cobbled together and “quotes” that the A-list star never actually made.
According to the Hello! Group, owner of Hello! magazine, the fabricated George Clooney interview was purchased from an outside agency. The magazine had reportedly worked with the agency before, but it has now been established that the completely fabricated interview attributed to George Clooney had been “culled together from a series of interviews that took place over a period of time” and that “many of the quotes attributed to Mr. Clooney were never made by him.”
As for George Clooney himself, he called the magazine out for their use of the completely fabricated interview. George also had plenty to say about other magazines that reprinted the fabricated interview, essentially increasing the circulation of the fabricated material.
“Hello! magazine has printed an exclusive interview with me that has been widely picked up and reprinted. Outlets like Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, The Sun and The Evening Standard have all printed my exclusive interview and credited Hello! magazine.”
There were multiple fabricated quotes included in the completely fabricated magazine interview, including one attributed to George Clooney in which he was credited with saying that he and his wife never spend more than a week apart and that they have a “rule” in their marriage to that effect.
George also went on to criticize what he called a “very disturbing trend” with regard to the completely fabricated interview published in Hello! In his statement, Mr. Clooney lamented that he had never given an interview to the magazine and that the quotes they used were “not accurate.” He said that being misquoted is “not unusual” when it comes to stars and tabloid media, but that to see something marketed as an “exclusive interview” that had, in fact, been completely fabricated was “something new.” And “very disturbing.”
The Hello! Group attempted to downplay the role their magazine played in the proliferation of the completely fabricated interview, saying that the so-called “exclusive” interview had been purchased on good faith from a “trusted” source.
“We are shocked and disappointed to discover that the representations that were made to the Hello! Group at the time of purchase of the material were not, in fact, true.”
Shocked and disappointed as the group may have been regarding the fabricated interview, the owners of Hello! magazine did attempt to stay as classy as possible in the face of an almost unprecedented gaffe. The publication issued a quick and seemingly genuine apology to George Clooney and his wife Amal for printing the completely fabricated interview in the first place.
According to The Huffington Post, the magazine also removed the fabricated interview from its website. That step, however, did little to quell the circulation of the contrived quotes attributed to George Clooney, most of which had to do the star’s long-distance relationship with his wife and how the couple manages to make things work.
One of the false quotes that made up the fabricated interview referenced the couple juggling their busy schedules. In it, George was credited as saying that schedule meshing “takes some planning,” but she “looks great on the red carpet.”
While this is the first time that a publication has completely fabricated a story about Clooney and called it an “exclusive interview,” the situation with Hello! magazine is not George Clooney’s first involving inaccurate reporting. In 2014, the star publicly lashed out at The Daily Mail when he said they falsely claimed that Amal’s mother was against their relationship (and an engagement) for religious and cultural reasons.
What do you think? Should media companies be on the hook for more than an apology if their magazines print completely fabricated interviews/stories, such as this one involving George Clooney?
[Image Courtesy Of Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images]