Clooneys make $1 million donation to fight hate groups

Posted at 6:09 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 18:09:34-04

George and Amal Clooney have joined the fight against hate groups in the United States.

The couple, through the The Clooney Foundation for Justice, have made a $1 million donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that will fund a joint initiative to combat hate groups.

The move comes more than a week after an August 12 “Unite the Right” rallysparked violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead and 19 injured. Two Virginia state troopers who were monitoring the protests were also killed in a helicopter crash.

In a joint statement issued Monday via the SPLC, the couple said they were “proud” to support the organization “in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States.”

“What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate,” they said.

In the aftermath of the event, President Donald Trump was criticized for his unwillingness to condemn white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in a press conference given days after the unrest.

“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said during a news conference August 15.

George Clooney appeared to reference the President’s comment in an additional statement, provided to CNN by a representative.

“Amal and I wanted to add our voice (and financial assistance) to the ongoing fight for equality. There are no two sides to bigotry and hate,” he said.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice was formed in 2016 to “advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities around the world,” according to a mission statement on its website.

George and Amal Clooney, who recently welcomed twins, serve as the foundation’s presidents.

“Like George and Amal Clooney, we were shocked by the size, ugliness, and ferocity of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen in a statement. “It was a reflection of just how much Trump’s incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right. We are deeply grateful to the Clooney Foundation for standing with us at this critical moment in our country’s fight against hate.”

The SPLC said it tracks more than 1,600 extremist groups operating in the U.S.

Further details about the joint initiative are expected to be announced at a later date, the organization said.