2ND UPDATE: George Clooney closed his jovial Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech with a nod to the Charlie Hebdo staffers who were slain last week in Paris over the publication of controversial satirical cartoons.
“Today was an extraordinary day,” Clooney said onstage during the awards telecast. “Millions of people – not just in Paris but around the world, Christians and Jews and Muslims, leaders of countries all over the world – they didn’t march in protest, they marched in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear. We won’t do it. So Je suis Charlie.”
Backstage, the filmmaker and activist addressed how artists and Hollywood will process the January 7 tragedy in Paris. “It’s a tricky thing,” he said. “Art, films usually fall a couple of years behind a news story. It takes time write a screenplay. Right now, we’re trying to process the idea of what the world is going to look like. I hope we don’t react in the wrong way. There’s a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe, and we need to make sure that doesn’t get combined in this fervor.”
In an open letter penned on the eve of the Globes today, Harvey Weinstein called for Hollywood to rally in solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo victims: “I hope we can all raise glasses and that someone like Tina, Amy or George Clooney will urge us to toast with 300 million viewers around the world: ‘Je suis Charlie, je suis juif, je suis Ahmed.'”
Asked by Deadline backstage if he will spearhead any freedom of speech events or team up with Weinstein in support of the Charlie Hebdo victims, Clooney answered, “I haven’t thought about it yet. With the Haiti and tsunami concerts, those people were so overwhelmingly poor. It was a desperate situation. But who knows? Maybe there will be something. We hope, as you guys all know, this is an important moment in time. And we have to stand up together or we end up falling apart.”
The violent assault on Charlie Hebdo also hit home with Dean DeBlois, writer, director, and exec producer of Best Animated Film winner How To Train Your Dragon 2. “We work with so many of the top artists in the world and many come from a carictuature background,” he said backstage. “It deeply touches each and every one of us. It was a big hit to the team, including Pierre-Olivier Vincent, our production designer, who was intimately acquainted with many Paris-based artists. It was a big hit.”
UPDATE: Golden Globes attendees rose to their feet tonight for Dutch journalist and Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Theo Kingma, who saluted the HFPA’s fallen brethren at French newspaper Charlie Hebdo onstage during the awards telecast.
Later, presenter Jared Leto took a moment before presenting Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette with the Best Supporting Actress award to pay tribute to the victims of the January 7 attack. “To our brothers, sisters, friends and families in France, our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts are with you tonight.” said Leto. “On vous aime. Je suis Charlie.”
PREVIOUSLY, 4:44 PM: George Clooney led the Hollywood charge at Sunday’s Golden Globes lending public support to Charlie Hebdo, the satirical Parisian newspaper attacked last week by armed gunmen. The Cecil B. DeMille Award winner walked the red carpet with a black and white “Je Suis Charlie” button on his tux, while wife Amal Alamuddin wore a Charlie Hebdo tribute on her purse.
Clooney tonight receives the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” In an open letter penned today, Harvey Weinstein called for tonight’s Globes attendees to remember those killed in the January 7 attack: “Charlie Hebdo is a reminder of the beauty of art and the beauty of language. No one can ever defeat the ability of great artists to show us our world.”
Deadline’s David Robb and Anna Lisa Raya contributed to this report.