Clooney recounts an experience with a rather nasty woman, who felt she had the right to tell Clooney just about everything she found horrible about him:
"The other day I was at a party and a woman I didn't know came up to me and said, 'I hated your last movie.' I said, 'Oh. OK. Uh, thank you for your opinion.' She said, 'And I don't agree with your politics.' I said, 'OK. Well, we all have our own point of view, right?' She said, 'And you're a lot older in person than you seem on screen. She was just standing there saying all these things to me and, at last, I'd had enough. I smiled very politely and said, 'You know... those 35 extra pounds of weight you're carrying... they look just fantastic on you.'
She was astonished. She said, 'What did you just say to me?' I said, 'I'm paying you a compliment. I think all that extra weight looks terrific on you.'
She was furious! Called me an a***hole. I said, 'No, look here, I was just standing here minding my own business and you walked up to me and insulted me. Which one of us was out of line here?'
While Clooney's "yeah? Well you're overweight" response isn't the classiest thing I've ever heard, and while it's annoying he felt the need to attack her weight (instead of say, her politics or her dress or some such) to make his point, his overall point is fairly valid: the world is a fairly unkind place, and the concept of "telling it like it is," which Clooney hates, seems to be taking over the world. I think everyone has at least one friend (or former friend) who lacks a filter for such things, the one who drops "well-meaning" insults like, "You'd be so pretty if you just..." or ends every nasty comment with "I'm just sayin. I'm just being honest, because you're my friend."
Clooney recognizes that his fame makes him more susceptible to such comments; after all, he lives a fairly public life, and people often feel that they "know" him enough to come up and insult him to his face. But he argues that such behavior is becoming commonplace, and that people fall back on "telling it like it is" as a means to justify their lack of respect and common courtesy: "I sometimes see a sort of unkindness that's spreading through the world these days," he says, "We've somehow got hold of the idea that we all must have an opinion on every single thing that happens, and even worse, that our opinion must be voiced, no matter how hurtful or offensive it can be."
In the end, Clooney just wants everyone to be nice. Stop "telling it like it is," he says, and try saying something positive instead. I say we take him up on this challenge. Mr. Clooney, you are welcome to stop by and compliment us anytime you wish.
George Clooney: How I Feel About Manners [DailyMail]