Movie Talk

Susan Sarandon: I was denied White House clearance

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty ImagesSusan Sarandon is speaking candidly about government surveillance. She says she has been a target of such activity, and that she was recently denied clearance to visit the White House.

The actress was speaking with filmmaker Michael Moore during a question-and-answer session at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday. The pair, both known for their politically liberal ideologies, say they've been the targets of government observation.

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Here are some of the claims they made on Sunday:

  • Sarandon: "I've gotten my [FBI] file twice... I know my phone was tapped. If they're not surveilling you, then everyone else has cameras on phones." She added, "I was denied security clearance to go to the White House [next week], and I don't know why."
  • Moore says he was a target of a "disinformation campaign": "I was told this by some people in the Bush administration. They went bonkers when 'Fahrenheit' came out and thought it would throw the election to Kerry."
  • Sarandon says she has confirmed she was a target of survelliance: "I've gotten my file twice under the Freedom of Information Act."

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Sarandon's history in activism includes her support of Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader in the 2000, then later supporting the Democratic Party in 2004. Ever vocal about her political beliefs, it's no wonder she has been a lightening rod of criticism from the right. She voiced her opposition to the Iraq War early on, and more recently in March Sarandon told the Daily Beast what she really thinks of Republicans: "They're so ridiculous that it's entertainment. I can't imagine that America would be that insane to put any of these people in [the White House]. I just have to believe that the GOP just wrote off this time and said, 'We don't care. Anybody can run!' 'Cause this can't be the best they can do."

At the same Tribeca Film Festival q&a session on Sunday, Moore also spoke about the phone-tapping scandal that has rocked News Corp. in Britain. He indicated similar things must be happening in the U.S.: "I'll make a prediction about something—I think the phone-hacking thing [Rupert] Murdoch is involved in ... is going to be investigated, and it will be found that it's been going on here too."

Moore is best known for voicing his politics through his documentaries, which include "Bowling for Columbine" (2002), "Fahrenheit 9/11" (2004) and "Sicko" (2007).