Israel-Hamas war, Hollywood turns to disunity

Israel-Hamas war, Hollywood turns to disunity


Unlike her character at the end of Thelma and Louise, Susan Sarandon probably did not intend to throw herself into the void. But, after speaking on November 17 in New York, during a demonstration in favor of a ceasefire in Gaza, the fall was brutal for the American actress. “There are a lot of people who are afraid of being Jewish right now and who have a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country.” she said, causing astonishment. “This wording was a terrible mistake,” she later apologized, recalling that Jews were themselves victims of persecution . Too late. His agency, the very powerful United Talent Agency, announced that it no longer represented the star.

Since the deadly attack perpetrated by Hamas against Israel, Hollywood has been torn. From October 7, many personalities shared their fear on social networks, starting with Israeli actress Gal Gadot, known for her role as Wonder Woman. “I support Israel, you should do the same” , she told her 109 million subscribers on Instagram before co-signing five days later, alongside seven hundred personalities (including comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer and Michael Douglas), an open letter condemning the atrocities committed by Hamas.

Even in Hollywood, traditionally pro-Israeli, this solidarity with the Jewish state has nevertheless fractured as the human toll increased in Gaza. While Joe Biden displayed his unconditional support for the government of Benyamin Netanyahu in the first days of the conflict, another open letter from film stars, including Cate Blanchett and Joaquin Phoenix, begged, on October 20, the American president to work to a ceasefire. A request echoed on the Instagram accounts of many personalities, some, like the young actress Melissa Barrera, star of the latest installments of the horror saga Scream , going so far as to accuse Israel of committing “genocide”. An inflammatory post which led to her being immediately banned from the production of Scream 7.

Another Hollywood figure, although unknown to the general public, saw his power waver. The influential Maha Dakhil, the agent of Tom Cruise, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon, was stripped of her role within the management of the Creative Artists Agency (CAA, the most important in the profession) after having she also used the word “genocide” on her Instagram account. A post that she quickly deleted, thanking, in a statement of apology, her “Jewish friends and colleagues for showing [her] the implications” of her comments. According to Variety magazine, she only escaped dismissal thanks to the intervention of Tom Cruise, who would have come in person to the CAA premises to show his support. Unlike Aaron Sorkin, creator in particular of the series At the White House, who announced that he was ending his contract with the agency upon learning that Maha Dakhil remained in place.

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