George Clooney is in on the “Mr. Amal Clooney” joke.
On Friday, George attended Variety’s annual Power of Women luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where he introduced himself to the star-studded crowd by using his wife’s moniker.
“Hi, I’m George and I’m Amal Clooney’s husband,” he joked at the event, which was presented by Lifetime.
Making everyone crack up, the 57-year-old Oscar winner added, “I can read this room.”
Although Amal wasn’t on hand — the human rights lawyer, 40, gave a keynote speech in Philadelphia during the 2018 Pennsylvania Conference for Women — there were plenty of other powerful women in the audience.
Celebrity guests included Jennifer Lewis, Thandie Newton, Elle King, Alyssa Milano and Olivia Culpo as well as honorees Tiffany Haddish, Regina King, Natalie Portman, Lena Waithe and Emma Gonzalez, who received a glowing introduction from George.
Haddish, 38, gave her own hilarious and touching speech prior to George taking the podium. Rather than launch into his own comedy routine, George kept things sincere. “You know, I’m 57 years old and I know better than following Tiffany,” he joked.
The Michael Clayton star then praised the “fearless” Gonzalez, one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and anti-violence advocates who survived the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.
At the March for our Lives event back in March, Gonzalez famously took the stage in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and spent six minutes and twenty seconds in silence — marking the same time it took a shooter to take the 17 innocent lives.
“She forced us to listen,” Clooney said. “Not to her words, there are none. How could there be? She made us listen to her heart. A heart that believes that we as a country can be so much better. A heart that cried out for adults to act like adults so children don’t have to. A heart that we are now honored to know is alive and beating and in this room with us today.”
Gonzalez was moved to tears discussing gun violence during her speech, recalling the countless other shootings that have happened before and after Parkland. Eight months after the tragedy, she said she can still feel the pain she felt that day “as though it’s happening right now.”
“Nothing made sense in those days, except for the fact that there was nothing to stop this from happening to anyone in a country with practically no gun safety laws,” she said.
“While being both cheered and mocked, being called poster children for the revolution, and sometimes feeling like we were holding the country upon our still-developing shoulders, we are mourning the loss of our friends and staff members, dealing with the trauma we faced from that day, mourning the loss of others caught up in other shootings that happened in schools, on the streets, in places of worship, in the airports, and nightclubs, at concerts and movie theaters,” Gonzalez added. “Gun violence doesn’t just affect schools; gun violence isn’t picky.”
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The 18 year old then asked members of the audience to encourage more people to vote and take a stand against violence.
“Everybody in this room is in a unique position. Because all of you are here, you have proven to hold power,” she said. “Whether your power is on screen, in the boardroom, behind the scenes, or in the media, you have it! To each of you powerful women, I say this, you know that you are forces to be reckoned with. You can and have inspired peace and understanding, and, most importantly, right now, you can inspire your audience to vote. Now, more than ever, women need to continue to rise up!”
“Fight so hard for gun safety laws that they get passed, and gun violence isn’t a problem anymore,” she added. “We can make this world a better place — one in which not only is everyone safe to exist, but they’re encouraged to.”
This year’s Power of Women was sponsored by Audi, which chauffeured honorees Haddish, King, Portman and Waithe in Audi Q7 vehicles while displaying the all-new 2019 A7 inside the venue.