‘There's tons more room for improvement’
Discussing his new television mini-series Catch 22, the actor said he believes the fight to ensure better treatment and representation for women in the entertainment industry is a “constant battle”.
“All the #MeToo stuff started coming through and I said to Paramount: ‘It’s all guys – we have to be part of the solution’,” the actor told the Radio Times, referencing the show in which he stars and produces.
Catch 22 is based on author Joseph Heller’s 1953 war novel and focusses on the male-dominated US Air Force in World War II.
Limited to a male-heavy cast as a result of the narrative, Clooney said he wanted to find other ways to involve women in the project.
“So [Emmy-winning cinematographer] Ellen Kuras jumped in to produce and direct a couple of episodes, we found a female editor and rethought our own involvement,” the actor explained.
“There’s tons more room for improvement, so it’s a constant battle.”
Activist Tarana Burke launched the MeToo movement in 2006 to spread awareness and understanding about sexual assault in underprivileged communities of colour.
The campaign was later adopted by actor Alyssa Milano in the wake of the sexual assault claims levied against former film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017 – which he denies – to encourage women to share their experiences of sexual violence using the #MeToo hashtag.
The subject of female representation in the workplace has been spoken about on several occasions in recent years by women in the entertainment industry.
During her empowering Best Actress Ocsars winner’s speech in 2018, actor Frances McDormand called for improved diversity in film, stating: “I have two words to say: Inclusion Rider.”
The term “inclusion rider” refers to when a cast and crew make it a required part of their contract to hire a diverse crew around them.
Actor Sophie Turner most recently threw her support behind inclusion riders.
“It’s something I will be using going forward for sure,” the actor told Stylist earlier this month.
The star also said that the Weinstein allegations should serve as a reminder to society about the importance of speaking out against injustices.
"I suppose the argument would be that it’s not just about Hollywood, but about all of us — that every time you see someone using their power and influence to take advantage of someone without power and influence and you don’t speak up, you’re complicit,” he explained.
“And there’s no question about that."
In his interview with the Radio Times Clooney – who welcomed twins with wife, humans rights lawyer Amal Clooney in 2017 – also opened up about the motorbike crash he was involved in while filming Catch 22 on location in Sardinia last year.
“I hit a car at 70 miles per hour, straight on,” he explained.
Revealing he quit his long-time passion of motorbike driving as a result of the collision, Clooney added: “If you get nine lives, I used them all up in one shot.”
The full interview is available in Radio Times. Catch 22 will air on Channel 4 in the UK later this year.