Thursday , May 23 2024
"Free Palestine" March, NYC

Gaza Genocide: Silence on Set, and in All of Hollywood!

The International Court of Justice has ruled that it is plausible that Israel is conducting a genocide in Gaza, Palestine. Can the People of Hollywood speak up now?

Editor’s Note: The views expressed herein are those of the author. They may not represent those of Blogcritics, its editors or staff.

The Gaza-Israel situation can hardly be called a “war,” when only one side has the capability of destroying structures and life within the Palestinian territory. A war by definition means two warring sides that are both armed. For more than 200 days, Gazans have been showing us raw footage of being shot, tortured and bombed – whilst being unarmed the entire time. Hence, the ruling on January 26 2024, whereby the International Court of Justice said it is plausible that Israel is conducting a genocide in Gaza, makes it appropriate to call the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza nothing short of a genocide.

To date, Hollywood has tried to silence actors who’ve tried to speak up for Palestine, whilst letting the ones who insult the sufffering Gazans go unchecked. Melissa Barrera from the Scream franchise was absurdly accused of being “antisemitic over her use of the word “genocide” to describe what was happening in Gaza. Barrera was then fired by Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind the upcoming Scream 7.

Actor Susan Sarandon, who is also well known for her political activism, spoke up for Gaza and Palestine and found herself dropped by United Talent Agency (UTA). She then apologized for her misuse of words that implied that Jews hadn’t faced persecution previously.

Some Hollywood actors signed a letter asking for a cease-fire in late October 2023. The appeal had names such as Andrew Garfield, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Lupita Nyong’o. Barrera and Sarandon also feature in the list of signatories.

On the other side of the matter, actor Amy Schumer implied that Gazans are rapists and comedian Sarah Silverman applauded Israel’s cruel shutting off of water, electricity and aid into Gaza. Both entertainers have been left unchecked by their management/representatives as well as the production companies behind their upcoming projects.

Noah Schnapp from Netflix’s Stranger Things was promoting in a video that said Zionism is sexy” and subsequently faced backlash from the public. He then released a TikTok video clarifying his feelings on this matter, coincidentally just as Stranger Things started shooting in January 2024. Schnapp is still part of the main cast and hasn’t been taken to task.

Clearly there’s a double standard in Hollywood. The ones who feel that Gaza should be destoyed to the ground have free rein to throw their uncensored words around, and those who feel for the more than 10,000 babies and children mercilessly blown up and murdered by Israel have been forced to remain silent and censored.

The Oscars in March 2024 saw a few Palestine supporters as Billie Eilish, Mark Ruffalo and Ava DuVernay wearing pins symbolizing the need for a ceasefire in Gaza. Jonathan Glazer, who won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film for his movie Zone of Interest about a Nazi’s family gave a speech where he condemned the Gaza war and the Israeli occupation. Glazer later faced some major backlash for his brave speech.

Aside from these few celebrities and industry players mentioned above, and perhaps some outliers in Hollywood such as Angelina Jolie, Bridgerton‘s Nicola Coughlan, and the Hadid Sisters Bella and Gigi who dared to voice support for Gaza, most of Hollywood has remained closed-mouth, perhaps for fear of repercussions such as firings from projects or being dropped by their reps and sponsorship deals.

Netflix’s Wednesday star Jenna Ortega has remained silent on this matter, despite her signing the ceasefire appeal and leaving Scream 7 after Barrera’s firing from the movie. By contrast, Ortega’s co-star Joy Sunday hasn’t stopped posting Pro-Palestine content on her Instagram account.

And Jennifer Lopez hasn’t said anything regarding Gaza despite also signing the same ceasefire letter. By contrast, her stepdaughter Violet Affleck (Ben Affleck’s older daughter) was cheered on by online netizens for wearing a T-shirt showing the map of Palestine.

Of course the loudest silent-person is Amal Clooney, who is married to A-list Hollywood celebrity actor George Clooney. Amal is fully Arab, and one of her grandparents is Palestinian. So it has not gone unnoticed by the public at large that Amal has remained tight-lipped about the ongoing Gazan genocide, which is even more surprising given that Amal is a well-known and highly praised human rights lawyer. Hence it’s ironic that she isn’t speaking about the greatest transgression of human rights the world has seen in modern times.

Then again Amal’s husband George is in pre-production for the upcoming movie Jay Kelly that will be directed by Noah Baumbach and stars Adam Sandler. Sandler is fully Jewish and Baumbach is part Jewish. And from 2014 onwards, for almost a decade, George Clooney has had both his directorial and acting work either panned by critics or negatively received by audiences. Most of his movies since 2014 have crashed and burned at the box office or have been dismissed by reviewers. So perhaps both George and Amal need this Jay Kelly movie not to go sideways, and especially not over some pesky genocide happening in Grandma’s ancient homeland.

If Hollywood has managed to quieten the Clooneys, you can imagine how easily it has silenced the rest of Hollywood’s actors, directors, producers, writers and just about anyone who works in Hollywood, but who happens to be against the beheading of Gazan babies and the blowing up of tiny Palestinian children into smithereens.

Even American colleges from New York’s Columbia University to Los Angeles’ UCLA, along with British universities Oxford and Cambridge have students so enraged over the Palestinian atrocities that protests and encampments have been occuring.

But in Hollywood, it seems like it’s just too difficult to find enough celebrities who should be doing what’s morally right, over what’s easy peasy silency. And sadly, that’s showbiz folks!

About Saffron

I work exclusively in Entertainment. I can be reached at: [email protected], Instagram.com/SaffronWriter and Twitter.com/SaffronWriter .

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