Clooneys donate $1m to combat hate groups after violent Charlottesville white supremacist rally

George and Amal Clooney
Updated 24 August 2017

Clooneys donate $1m to combat hate groups after violent Charlottesville white supremacist rally

NEW YORK: In the wake of deadly violence following a white supremacist rally, George and Amal Clooney have donated $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy organization that monitors hate groups.
The pair, which made the donation via their Clooney Foundation for Justice, join a number of others giving funds in recent weeks to anti-discrimination organizations, which have seen a surge in donations since clashes between white supremacists and anti-racism protesters amid a demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia left one dead.
“What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate,” the Clooneys said in a statement announcing the grant.
“We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States.”
The unrest in Charlottesville at the rally called by neo-Nazi and other far-right extremists saw one woman killed after an avowed white supremacist plowed a car into a group of counter-protesters.
US President Donald Trump faced fierce criticism following his comments that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that highlighted racial tensions in a nation on edge.
“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.
“It was a reflection of just how much Trump’s incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right.”
Since the violence in Charlottesville the Anti-Defamation League — one of the oldest anti-discrimination organizations fighting anti-Semitism in the United States — has seen its donations spike sharply.
James Murdoch, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, recently announced he was giving $1 million to that group.
Donations like that one, as well as those from corporations like Apple, Uber and MGM Resorts yielded a rise of “1,000%” last week, according to ADL spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara, compared to the weekly average donations since the beginning of the year.
J.P. Morgan also joined the ranks of the donors, announcing a million-dollar gift to be shared by the ADL and the SPLC, according to US media.
Another organization combatting racism and anti-Semitism, the Los Angeles-based Simon aed major donations since then. One came from actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.