Hollywood stars urge Amazon to remove Kyrie Irving scandal antisemitic film

Mila Kunis, Mayim Bialik, Debra Messing and more than 200 stars called on Amazon and Barnes & Noble to remove an antisemitic book and film shared by Kyrie Irving. 

 Amazon is shutting down its fledgling health care service, Amazon Care, at the end of this year. Shown is an Amazon facility in Sunnyvale, California. (photo credit: DREAMSTIME/TNS)
Amazon is shutting down its fledgling health care service, Amazon Care, at the end of this year. Shown is an Amazon facility in Sunnyvale, California.
(photo credit: DREAMSTIME/TNS)

Over 200 actors and artists from the entertainment industry in an open letter called on Amazon and Barnes & Noble to remove from their online stores an antisemitic documentary and book series that had been popularized by basketball player Kyrie Irving. 

Signatories include Hollywood stars such as actors Mila Kunis, Debra Messing, Mayim Bialik, Tracey-Ann Oberman, and artists like rapper Kosha Dillz, and Disturbed frontman David Draiman. Also signing were industry leaders like Haim Saban and former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing. 

"After more than a week of private messages and public calls to take the fallacious book and movie 'Hebrews to Negroes' from your sites, you have so far refused to act," read the letter to Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezo and Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt. "We, the undersigned, demand that you immediately remove these works from your sites."

"After more than a week of private messages and public calls to take the fallacious book and movie 'Hebrews to Negroes' from your sites, you have so far refused to act."

letter to Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezos

The open letter noted that the book and film have become best sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble's website. 

The Jerusalem Post found last Friday that the book series was the top bestseller in three different categories on Amazon's website. It was also a bestseller on Amazon Prime Video and number 69 on Barnes & Noble's top 100 bestselling books. On Apple Books last week, Hebrews to Negroes was number 9 on the list of the top audiobooks.

 Oct 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) argues a call in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. (credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS) Oct 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) argues a call in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. (credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS)

"The book and movie, and its contents, have been shared by several high-profile individuals causing tremendous harm to the Jewish community while spreading dangerous misinformation to an impressionable public that may be susceptible to its propaganda," said the letter.  "These works promote numerous antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact, including manufactured Hitler quotes, false claims of Jewish power and control, that the Jewish people fabricated the Holocaust, and that the Jewish people are fake Jews."

The open letter was organized by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an NGO that promotes the arts as a means to peace, to counter antisemitism within entertainment, and to rally support against the cultural boycott of Israel. 

Activists call for the book to be removed

CCFP was not the only group appealing to sellers of the Hebrews to Negroes series. StopAntisemitism told The Post that thousands of its followers sent direct emails to Amazon about the issue. 

"Why is Amazon still monetizing a documentary that denies the Holocaust, quotes Hitler, & promotes the false conspiracy that Jews controlled the African slave trade?" wrote StopAntisemitism on Twitter

The International Legal Forum wrote a letter to Bezos on Sunday.

"We wish to express our grave concern that the sickening antisemitic documentary and book 'Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America', not only remain for purchase or rent on your platform but alarmingly, is currently also one of your best-selling items," said ILF.

Kyrie Irving scandal

Irving drew a wave of criticism and accusations of antisemitism after sharing a link to the 2018 film on social media.

Irving's team, The Brooklyn Nets, suspended him for no fewer than five games. saying they were "dismayed" that Irving did not denounce antisemitism when speaking to reporters.

The basketball player later apologized for sharing the film.

Samuel Halpern, Jerusalem Post Staff, and Reuters contributed to this report.