Clooney calls racist ‘Rust’ uproar ‘ridiculous’

Hollywood stars defended an actor’s character who yells “Rust” at the top of his lungs when he fires up his car for the first time.

George Clooney said Monday it was “insane” for somebody to try to turn a race car accident into a hoax.

The Oscar-winning actor was interviewed by Fox News while he was promoting the Coen brothers’ movie “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Clooney plays the Texas oilman in the film about the West, but the controversy over actor Tim Blake Nelson’s “Rust” character has centered on how it sounds like he is screaming the word as he heads off.

Clooney was asked if the director’s choice was ironic.

“I don’t think that anybody is making light of any pain or any pain that others go through on a daily basis, so I think people ought to just calm down and realize that it doesn’t matter if that car goes into the wall and in the process our hero has his leg blown off, so go ahead and laugh and hope that you didn’t miss anything if you’re inside the car,” he replied.

Clooney added that his wife, Amal, thinks the nickname is funny, saying she has called Nelson after they read about the controversy and the actor has written to apologize.

“They’re desperate people, those people. I mean, you know, they’re desperate people,” Clooney said. “And so I think they’re doing this just to feed their own emotional barometer. … I think it’s ridiculous.”

Nelson acknowledged Monday on Twitter that he was quoted saying “Rust” after he stepped from his car, which he’d just gotten out of. He said it appeared as if he was screaming the line in the scenes and that the car did not go into a wall during the filming of them.

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