LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When actor-director George Clooney accepted his lifetime award at Sunday’s Golden Globes awards, he used his acceptance speech to both put the value of awards in perspective and voice his support for the victims of the deadly attack on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
“Today is an extraordinary day,” Clooney said as he accepted his Cecil B. DeMille award recognizing his work as actor, filmmaker and activist.
“Millions marched not only in Paris but all around the world, and there were 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. Je suis Charlie.”
Clooney, 53, who wore a “Je Suis Charlie” lapel pin, demonstrated self-deprecation in his acceptance speech, poking fun at himself for having lost more Globes than won.
“If you’re in this room, you’ve caught the brass ring, you get to do what you’ve always dreamed to do and be celebrated, and that ain’t losing,” he said.
Clooney, who has starred in films including “Oceans Eleven,” “Syriana” and “The Descendants,” paid tribute to late stars Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams, saying “I have no idea what hardware Robin Williams took home but I sure remember ‘Carpe diem.'”
He also quipped about the backbiting emails that leaked when Sony Pictures was hacked, encouraging everyone to make amends, and the unfavorable reviews for his 2014 film, “Monuments Men,” joking: “I’ll get you back.”
All eyes were on the actor and his new wife Amal as they made their red carpet debut as a married couple on Sunday.
“It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love, and even better when you’ve been waiting your whole life,” a choked-up Clooney said on stage to his wife.
“Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”
Earlier in the night, stars such as Jared Leto, Helen Mirren, Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger also voiced support for the Charlie Hebdo victims, while Theo Kingma, president of Golden Globes organizers the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, made a poignant speech on stage.
“As international journalists we also understand the importance of freedom of artistic expression. Together we will stand united against anyone who would repress free speech anywhere, from North Korea to Paris,” he said.
Editing by Mary Milliken and Eric Walsh