NBC Touts Movie’s Left-Wing ‘Message for Wall Street,’ ‘Sympathy’ for Terrorist

During an interview with the stars of the Hollywood’s latest anti-capitalist screed, Money Monster, on Friday’s NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons summed up the plot of the film: “In the movie, [George] Clooney is forced to wear an explosive vest by British rising star Jack O'Connell. Who lost his dead mother's money on stocks.”

Clooney plays a financial journalist with a uncanny resemblance to CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer and is held hostage by a man attempting to get answers about why he lost all his money in a bad investment. Simmons noted: “This guy is a terrorist, who you end up feeling sympathy for.”

O’Connell defended his character’s violent actions: “I mean, it'd be right to say that he does resort to terror. Whether or not I believe he's a terrorist, I'm not sure. I think the only option this kid felt like he had was to do something very extreme. Not that I'd recommend anyone try that.”

Clooney laughed and chimed in: “One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.”

Simmons declared: Money Monster has a message for Wall Street.” Director Jodie Foster proclaimed: “I think Americans are filled with rage because they worked hard, they took care of their moms, they saved, and they have nothing to show for it.”

Talking to actress Julia Roberts about her role in the film, Simmons worried: “When you think about your children and the kind of world this really reflects, do you worry about what they are growing up into?” Roberts replied: “Well, I think as parents, you're constantly worried. But you can't be paralyzed by the fear of anything.” Foster added: “And maybe they'll be world changers.”

Clooney stood on his soap box: “We're right now being run by people who are selling fear as this great thing. Speak out on the things that matter to you. And you know, the risk of that is of course you piss people off. But that's my right, you know.  I'm allowed to do that as a citizen.” Foster stated: “The right to piss people off.” Clooney continued: “Sure. I mean, that is the right, you know? That's the deal.”

After the taped portion of the segment, Simmons observed: “You know, it was just so fascinating hearing the three of them talk about politics. You could watch them figuring out what they wanted to say together. What they were comfortable saying.”

Here is a transcript of the exchange aired on May 13:

8:53 AM ET

(...)

KEIR SIMMONS: In the movie, Clooney is forced to wear an explosive vest...

JACK O’CONNELL: My thumb comes off this trigger, then we all explode.

SIMMONS: ...by British rising star Jack O'Connell.

O’CONNELL: I might be the one with the gun here, but I'm not the real criminal. It’s people like these guys.  

SIMMONS: Who lost his dead mother's money on stocks.

This guy is a terrorist, who you end up feeling sympathy for.

O’CONNELL: I mean, it'd be right to say that he does resort to terror. Whether or not I believe he's a terrorist, I'm not sure. I think the only option this kid felt like he had was to do something very extreme. Not that I'd recommend anyone try that. I just think –

GEORGE CLOONEY: One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.     

SIMMONS: Right. Money Monster has a message for Wall Street.

JODIE FOSTER: I think Americans are filled with rage because they worked hard, they took care of their moms, they saved, and they have nothing to show for it.

JULIA ROBERTS: Anyone who can get out, get out right now.

SIMMONS: Do you feel like the power of your voice, just, you know, people listen? That, that is important.

[LAUGHTER]

FOSTER: I didn't mean to laugh.

ROBERTS: What, me?

FOSTER: Yes, you.

SIMMONS: Yeah, I mean, you're Julia Roberts, right? You kind of –  

ROBERTS: Can I have that little piece of film? Thanks.

CLOONEY: I know I just listen. Every time you speak, I just listen.

ROBERTS: Do not look up. Do not make eye contact. Just go.

SIMMONS: When you think about your children and the kind of world this really reflects, do you worry about what they are growing up into?

ROBERTS: Well, I think as parents, you're constantly worried. But you can't be paralyzed by the fear of anything.

FOSTER: And maybe they'll be world changers.

CLOONEY: We're right now being run by people who are selling fear as this great thing. Speak out on the things that matter to you. And you know, the risk of that is of course you piss people off. But that's my right, you know.  I'm allowed to do that as a citizen.

FOSTER: The right to piss people off.

CLOONEY: Sure. I mean, that is the right, you know? That's the deal. I'm well aware of it, so it's okay.

(...)

SIMMONS: You know, it was just so fascinating hearing the three of them talk about politics. You could watch them figuring out what they wanted to say together. What they were comfortable saying.

(...)

NB Daily Economy Banking/Finance Stock Market Liberals & Democrats Movies NBC Today Video Keir Simmons George Clooney Julia Roberts Jodie Foster

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