ER Creator: Using Starving Children As A Shield From Bad Publicity Never A Good Idea

clooney_sexiest.jpgAt Thursday’s New York Women in Film & Television Muse Awards, John Wells, the Emmy-winning creator of ER, mused on the current trend of celebs fronting political causes and gave former ER castmate George Clooney high marks for pulling off the delicate balancing act of star slash humanitarian without making it look like a blatant publicity ploy: “It’s particularly great the way George does it because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Acknowledging the fact from the outset that you’re bringing your celebrity to it to try to illuminate the issue and not trying to speak as an expert on the issue is the best way to do it. With George, that seems to gotten through. I think it’s makes a huge difference particularly for the situations in Africa and places where the traditional news media doesn’t cover.”

Wells cautioned other celebrities who might be looking for a politically-correct cause to add luster to a faltering career: “Trying to put starving children in front of you like a shield from bad publicity is never a good idea — that will always come off badly.”


Wells, the first recipient of the Loreen Arbus Award For Those Who Take Action & Effect Change for his work developing job training programs for women and minorities, was sanguine about ER being stiffed out of Golden Globes nominations while Grey’s Anatomy garnered four nods. “We’ve gone so much longer than we anticipated, so the fact that we’re still able to do a show we’re proud of is great. We’ve stayed in the spotlight a lot longer than I expected.” It’s healthy for the industry to move on.”

— Diane Clehane

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  • Clooney: ‘Until O’Reilly Sticks His Neck Out And Goes Where People Are Shooting, I’m Not Going To Worry’