Less preening, George, if you please

Tom Sutcliffe has a nice piece in the Indie [now, alas, behind a paywall] taking George Clooney to task for his Oscar speech in which he said: “We were a little bit out of touch every now and then in Hollywood and I think that’s probably a good thing. We were the ones to talk about Aids when it was just being whispered. And we talked about civil rights when it wasn’t really popular”. (Cue waves of self-satisfied applause.)

Oh yeah? says Sutcliffe. The Aids crisis first broke in 1981 and was global news by 1983. The first film to deal with it at all — An Early Frost — came out in 1985 and was made not by Hollywood but by NBC. It wasn’t until Philadelphia in 1993 that Hollywood really acknowledgd Aids. Similarly with civil rights. In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner were both made in 1967 — 13 years after the first struggles over segregated education.

So less of the preening, George.