During a recent interview to promote a new show, actor George Clooney shifted gears to address what he considers a very serious situation: the media's treatment of his friend and member of the British royal family, Meghan Markle.

"They're just chasing Meghan Markle everywhere, she's been pursued and vilified," Clooney said. "She's a woman who is seven months pregnant and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was and it's history repeating itself."

Clooney then uttered a powerfully ominous statement:

"We've seen how that ends."

Clooney, of course, is referring to the tragic accident that ended the life of Princess Diana, Markle's deceased mother-in-law. The Princess of Wales died from injuries sustained in a car crash in Paris, France. At the time of the crash, the car was fleeing from paparazzi vying for a photo.

Interestingly, shortly after Princess Diana's death in 1997, Clooney delivered an impassioned speech denouncing the actions of the paparazzi.

"This is not about me," Clooney began. "But as I sit in front of my TV listening to tabloid journalists and editors dodging their own responsibility and placing the blame on a drunken driver or society or Princess Di, I now feel that the only fair thing I can do is stand up and make one clear, concise statement.

"Princess Di is dead. And who should we see about that? The driver of the car? The paparazzi? Or the magazines and papers that purchase these pictures and make bounty hunters out of photographers?"

Clooney went on to implore whom he referred to as "legitimate news sources" to "draw a clear line in the sand," by refusing to use tabloids such as the National Enquirer as a source for news.

About a decade ago, Clooney revisited the subject once again in another interview.

"What it has to do with is responsibility. And are you going to be responsible for your actions?

"It's bad enough that they chased her in public and dumb that [the driver] ran the way he did, as fast as he did. But that they stood over the top of her and took pictures afterwards--that's where responsibility comes in. And you go, really? You're not even going to make an effort to help? Those are the things that I just can't believe."

By likening the media's treatment of Markle today to its treatment of Diana over 20 years ago, Clooney's words should give media reporters, photographers, and editors serious pause.

There are different topics you can choose to focus on.

There are different ways to pursue a story.

There are different ways to get a picture.

There are different ways.

Every one of us has a choice.

And if you're not sure whether or not you should move forward, remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

In the end, it could make all the difference...

Because we've already seen how this ends.

Published on: Feb 13, 2019
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