Susan Sarandon fired from talent agency after comments on Gaza war

Susan Sarandon fired from talent agency after comments on Gaza war

Two actresses, one a veteran Academy Award winner and the other a relative newcomer, have been fired by Hollywood companies after comments they made separately about the war between Israel and Hamas sparked criticism.

Susan Sarandon, a five-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner (for best actress, in 1995’s “Dead Man Walking”), was abandoned by United Talent Agency after making comments at a pro-Palestinian rally last week. An agency spokesman, Richard Siklos, confirmed Tuesday that the agency was no longer representing Sarandon, but declined to provide further details.

Efforts to reach Sarandon for comment were not immediately successful.

Separately, Spyglass Media Group fired Melissa Barrera of the cast of the horror franchise “Scream” after he posted inflammatory comments on Instagram about Israel’s retaliation for Hamas attacks.

“We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or hate speech in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, distortion of the Holocaust, or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech,” Spyglass said in a statement. on Tuesday.

Representatives for Barrera did not respond to requests for comment.

United Talent fired Sarandon after she made comments at a rally in New York City last week. “There are many people who are afraid, afraid to be Jewish right now, and they are starting to taste what it feels like to be Muslim in this country, so often subject to violence,” she said at the rally. where she called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, according to a video published by The New York Post.

Those comments were criticized on social media; A former speechwriter for Israel’s delegation to the United Nations said on Platform X, formerly Twitter, that she had interpreted Sarandon’s comment implies that Jews “deserve it, that we do not deserve to live free of harassment and assault.” The Post characterized his comments as a “anti-Jewish tirade” in a headline.

Sarandon said at the rally that criticizing Israel should not be considered anti-Semitic. “A terrible thing has happened when anti-Semitism has been confused with speaking against Israel,” Sarandon said. “I am against anti-Semitism. “I am against Islamophobia.”

According to the Police Department, there has been a sharp increase in anti-Semitic crimes in New York City since the October 7 Hamas attacks. On October 7, Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing approximately 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostage, according to the Israeli government. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,600 children, have been killed since the Israeli counteroffensive began.

Sarandon counts among his credits “Bull Durham” and “Thelma & Louise.” This year, she appeared in the latest DC Comics film, “Blue Beetle,” which was a box office disappointment. She has also long been known for her political activism.

Hollywood has been divided in recent weeks by the war between Israel and Hamas. Some Jewish writers were angry that their union did not quickly issue a statement condemning Hamas. A prominent Creative Artists Agency agent, Maha Dakhil, posted messages on social media accusing Israel of “genocide” and later deleted them. She apologized and resigned from an internal leadership position at the company. One of her prominent clients, screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin, dropped her as her agent and said in a statement: “Maha is not anti-Semitic, she is just wrong.”

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John C. Johnson

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