Haters Claim George Clooney Once Turned Down $35 Million From Israel’s El Al For One Day’s Work

A number of anti-Israel websites and social media accounts are claiming that Hollywood actor George Clooney once turned down 35 million dollars from El Al for one day’s work because he “doesn’t support the occupation state of Israel.”

A look at the source of his comments reveals Clooney’s exact words:

“Well, yeah. I was offered $35m for one day’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal [Clooney, the human rights lawyer he married in 2014] about it and we decided it’s not worth it. It was [associated with] 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.’”

Nowhere does he mention Israel or El Al. In fact, I posit it is highly unlikely he was referring to them at all, given El Al has never been known to be a cash cow with money like this to burn, and have in fact been in huge financial trouble for a while now. The more likely candidate is Emirates, with Etihad, Qatar, Saudia, and Turkish also possible.

This blogger has already explained why those are the most likely, saving me the trouble:

While Etihad has had some big name stars for ads in the past (like Nicole Kidman), it probably wasn’t Etihad, since at this point the airline doesn’t have $35 million to blow on a campaign like this

Qatar does spend a lot of money on marketing, but typically the airline doesn’t hire uber-famous people for ad campaigns

Turkish has in the past used some big-name celebrities (like Morgan Freeman), so I could see this being a possibility, and I think it’s the second most likely explanation (after Emirates)

Saudia is a wild card, but who knows, especially with the country trying to increase its tourism industry.

Emirates spends a ton on marketing, and several years back the airline reportedly paid Jennifer Aniston $5 million to appear in an ad, which poked fun at US carriers. Ironically Aniston had talked in the past about being afraid of flying, and if I recall correctly that ad was filmed on a real A380 on the ground at LAX, since she didn’t want to fly to Dubai.

I guess my only surprise is that Clooney would be paid $35 million, while Aniston was paid $5 million. Admittedly the Aniston commercial was several years back, so is Clooney just that much more famous, has the rate for celebrity appearances in ads increased that much in the past several years, or is he exaggerating?

Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty sure George Clooney is no lover of Israel, especially given his wife’s views. But this claim by the haters is wishful thinking dressed up as fact.

By George, they don’t stop lying, do they?

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media