A mea culpa in the form of a backpedal. Persona non grata in Hollywood since she took part in a demonstration in mid-November denouncing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, actress Susan Sarandon has disavowed the comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that led to her being dropped by her agents. On Instagram, the Thelma and Louise star says she made a "big mistake." "My clumsily worded remarks imply that Jews have never been persecuted, which is not true. They have faced centuries of oppression and violence in Europe and on our soil," she apologized, "I deeply regret that I underestimated this reality and hurt people with these words. I intended to show solidarity in the fight against intolerance of all kinds. I failed."
On November 17, the 77-year-old actress took part in a pro-Palestinian march in New York, calling for a ceasefire. Invited to speak, she improvised a few words. "Faced with the rise of anti-Semitism, American Jews are discovering fear and understanding what the Muslim community in our country is going through," she said. These remarks, perceived as anti-Semitic, sparked a lively controversy. Susan Sarandon was dropped by the UTA agency that looked after her interests.
A Divided Entertainment Community
The same fate befell Mexican Scream 6 actress Melissa Barrera. Maha Dakhil, co-head of the CAA's film department, who represents Tom Cruise who opposed his dismissal, had to resign from the board of directors for comparing Israel's armed intervention to genocide. But, she was able to keep her job as an agent thanks to the intervention of the Top Gun star.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to divide the entertainment industry. ER and The Morning Show star Julianna Margulies also had to apologize after saying in a podcast that "those in the African-American and LGBT communities who supported the Palestinian cause were brainwashed into hating Jews."
On Thursday, the British artists' collective for Palestine published an open letter urging the British authorities to preserve freedom of expression. The signatories, including Olivia Colman (The Crown) and Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education), were protesting against the sanctions against their peers who express their concerns and solidarity with the situation in Gaza. Screenings and exhibitions such as the one by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei have been cancelled.