Labor Activists Urge George Clooney to Stop Nespresso Coffee Ads

George Clooney
George Clooney

Swiss labor rights group Solidar Suisse has released a video calling out George Clooney for endorsing Nespresso, a Nestle coffee company that reportedly exploits workers toiling under "slave-like conditions" in Nicaragua.

The fake commercial (below) features a Clooney look-alike nearly getting clobbered by a falling piano, then getting knocked to the ground by a generic Espresso sign. "Sorry, George, that's what it feels like to be exploited as a coffeemaker," the narrator says. "Nespresso is one of the most expensive coffees but sadly is not fairly traded. George Clooney can change this. Please write to him at"

The Oscar-winning actor enjoys a do-gooder reputation as an ambassador for the U.N. and vocal campaigner for human rights, so we'll see how this plays out.

The Price of Fame left a message with his rep before business hours and we'll update if we hear from him. The actor had been at the Venice Film Festival presenting his new movie The Ides of March, a thriller which he also directed.

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Nespresso denied the spoof's claims, offering in a statement, "We have been committed to responsible coffee sourcing and we intend to defend Nespresso's integrity and reputation."

The ad uses music and scenery reminiscent of Clooney's genuine "What Else?" spot for the company. Clooney has been a pitchman for Nespresso for several years overseas -- a relationship Solidar Suisse urges him to rethink on its website. The copy on its home page reads: "Dear George: ... you campaign as a UN ambassador as well as a champion of peace and justice. That is truly fantastic. But promoting a company that does nothing to stop the exploitation of coffee pickers is really not right. I would therefore like to ask you make Nestlé choose: either fair trade coffee or no more George Clooney in the Nespresso commercials."

The site offers visitors a space to leave the the 50-year-old Up in the Air and Ocean's Eleven star a personal message. Paolo M. wrote, "Shame on you!"