Gal Gadot backs out of JNF dinner

Amid rumors of allegations, ‘Wonder Woman’ star pulls out of evening honoring Brett Ratner

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October 29, 2017 19:01
2 minute read.
2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards Wonder Woman Hollywood Israeli Actress

Gal Gadot 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards - Arrivals. (photo credit: REUTERS/DANNY MOLOSHOK)

 
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Superstar Gal Gadot has pulled out of an awards ceremony hosted by the Jewish National Fund-USA, slated for Sunday night in Los Angeles.

Gadot was scheduled to present an award to Hollywood director and producer Brett Ratner.

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But Variety reported exclusively on Friday that the actress canceled her participation in the event.

Representatives for Gadot and the JNF-USA did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Variety linked the cancellation to accusations of harassment against Ratner dating back to 2011. In the past he has apologized for using a gay slur and for comments he made about actress Olivia Munn. Since the exposé of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator, there have been many prominent figures accused of similar behavior. Ratner’s name has not publicly joined the list, but many people on Twitter and in comments on other articles speculated that he would be next.

A spokeswoman for JNF-USA told Variety that Gadot pulled out due to a scheduling conflict.

Neither JNF-USA nor its Israeli sister organization, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, would confirm any details.



Ratner is being awarded the annual Tree of Life award by the JNF-USA, which “is given in recognition of outstanding community involvement, dedication to the cause of American- Israeli friendship, and devotion to the peace and security of human life.” He is slated to receive it alongside longtime JNF-USA supporter David Frank. In its release announcing the dinner, JNF called Gadot an “event co-chair.”

According to the JNF-USA, Gadot said, “It will be my pleasure to honor my friend Brett Ratner and his generous giving and support for the opportunity of American students to study in my homeland of Israel at the Alexander Muss High School.”

Ratner, an AMHSI alumnus, gave a large donation to the JNF-USA to sponsor the semester abroad program.

He has directed films like Rush Hour (and its sequels), The Family Man, X-Men: The Last Stand and produced those, as well as Horrible Bosses, Jersey Boys, The Revenant and acclaimed TV series Prison Break.

Ratner is a supporter of many Jewish causes, and also serves on the board of trustees of The Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Five days after the first article broke in The New York Times accusing Weinstein of decades of sexual assault, The Simon Wiesenthal Center said it was “removing his name from our roster of SWC honorees in all the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s publications.”

“If we would know then that this is who he is and that he did this to women, we would have never honored him, period,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the center.

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