Movies

Clooney, Moore join row 
on Confederate symbols

Hollywood stars George Clooney and Julianne Moore on Saturday weighed in on the debate raging in the US over statues and other symbols of the pro-slavery side in the American Civil War.

The pair spoke out on the issue at the Venice Film Festival, where they are promoting the Clooney-directed Suburbicon, a crime drama that deals with segregation in 1950s America and stars Moore.

They said they backed moves such as a ban on the Confederate flag being hung on public buildings and the rebranding of schools named after those who fought on the losing side in the Civil War.

Moore said statues of the Old South's generals and the like "must be removed".

"You simply cannot have these figures from the Civil War in towns... for our children to see," she said.

The US actress was involved in a campaign to have the J.E.B. Stuart High School in Virginia renamed. She attended the school, which is named after a Confederate general.

Clooney revealed that he had always opted to play a rebel soldier when taking part in Civil War re-enactments while he was growing up in Kentucky.

Americans are deeply divided on the issue of removing pro-slavery symbols. Some want such statues removed as they are a focal point for a new generation of white supremacists.

Others argue they should stay in place, either because they see the figures commemorated as part of their cultural heritage or because they feel the fact they were put up in the first place reflects US history as it was lived.

The movement to remove such symbols was energised by the recent death in Charlottesville, Virginia, of a woman who was hit by car driven by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi. - AFP

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