Entertainment industry leaders sign letter, pledge money in support of Israel

Celebrities including Gal Gadot and companies including Walt Disney signed a letter condemning Hamas and pledging support for Israel.

 Actor Gal Gadot arrives for the Ninth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 15, 2023.  (photo credit: REUTERS/AUDE GUERRUCCI)
Actor Gal Gadot arrives for the Ninth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 15, 2023.

In response to Hamas’ horrific terror attack on Israel on October 7, more than 700 leaders from the entertainment industry – including such household names as Gal Gadot, Jerry Seinfeld, Helen Mirren, and Michael Douglas -- have signed an open letter released by the non-profit entertainment industry organization, Creative Community for Peace (CCFP),  in support of Israel, while The Walt Disney Company and Paramount Global announced they would be donating millions of dollars for humanitarian aid to Israel and released their own statements.

In addition to the more than 1300 Israelis murdered, citizens of the US, UK, Canada, France, Thailand, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, Cambodia, Germany, Philippines, Chile, Brazil, Italy, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Ireland have been identified as either missing or killed. More than 150 people of all ages were taken hostage in the attack and their fate remains uncertain.

The CCFP letter calls on the entertainment community to speak out forcefully against Hamas, support Israel, refrain from sharing misinformation about the war, and do whatever is in their power to urge the terrorist organization to return the hostages to their families.

Gal Gadot shared, “My heart is aching for the lives lost and families shattered. I’m praying for everyone who has been affected by Hamas’ terrorism and brutality. And I hope that the world remains steadfast in their support of the Israeli people.”

Haim Saban, the founder of the CEO of Saban Capital Group, added, “In the aftermath of the barbaric killing of more than 1,200 Israelis, we in the Hollywood community and around the world must stand with Israel as it defends itself against a terrorist regime in Gaza that seeks Israel’s destruction.”

 The remains of a family home is seen, following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Kibbutz Beeri in southern Israel, October 13, 2023.  (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
The remains of a family home is seen, following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Kibbutz Beeri in southern Israel, October 13, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Tracy-Ann Oberman stated, “I am filled with sadness and anger at the growing antisemitism that is being fueled on the back of this horror. But even though we may feel broken as a people we are also resilient. We will survive as we always have.”

CCFP’s Chairman, David Renzer, and executive director, Ari Ingel, wrote, “We join entertainment industry leaders horrified at the loss of life in cities, towns, and at a celebratory music festival in southern Israel. Sadly, only now, after hundreds of innocent lives have been lost, does the world comprehend Hamas’ barbarity. As nations around the globe joined together against the savagery of ISIS, the world must continue to support Israel as they respond to the savagery of Hamas.”

Celebrities sign letter condemning Hamas

Other signatories include actors and comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Helen Mirren, Michael Douglas, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine, Amy Schumer, Andy Garcia, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mayim Bialik, Debra Messing, Jason Alexander, George Lopez, Howie Mandel, Mark Hamill, and Zachary Levi. Musicians Ziggy Marley, John Fogerty, and Diane Warren also signed, as well as MMA fighter Chuck Lidell.

The list of signatories includes many creators and executives such as Irving Azoff, CEO/Chairman, Full Stop Management; Bryan Lourd, CEO, CAA; Richard Lovett, co-chairman, CAA;  Aaron Bay-Schuck, CEO/co-chairman Warner Records;  Jody Gerson Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Publishing;   Jenji Kohan, writer and producer; Ryan Murphy, showrunner; Guy Nattiv, director; Sharon Osbourne, manager, On-Air Talent; ; Jim Berkus, chairman of the Board of Directors, UTA; Greg Berlanti, Writer/Director/Producer;  Eli Roth, Director; Antoine Fuqua, Producer/Director; Phil Rosenthal, Actor/Producer;   Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO, Mattel, Inc.; Dana Goldberg, Skydance, Chief Creative Officer; Gail Berman, Producer; Sherry Lansing, Former CEO of Paramount Pictures; Rick Rosen, Co-Founder, Endeavor; and Josh Greenstein, President Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. 

The full list is available at https://www.creativecommunityforpeace.com/blog/2023/10/12/israel-under-attack-open-letter/.

The statement reads, in part, “This is terrorism. This is evil. There is no justification or rationalization for Hamas’ actions. These are barbaric acts of terrorism that must be called out by everyone. They are a terrorist organization whose leaders call for the murder of Jews everywhere. . . .The nightmare that Israelis have feared for decades became a reality as Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israeli cities and towns. Under the cover of thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately into civilian populations, Hamas murdered and kidnapped innocent men, women, and children.”

As the war continues, the letter warns, “Social media will be overrun by an orchestrated misinformation campaign spearheaded by Iran.” The letter urges “everyone to remember the horrific images that came out of Israel and to not amplify or fall for their propaganda.” The letter concludes, “Our thoughts are with all those experiencing unfathomable levels of fear and violence, and we hope for the day when Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace.”

The Walt Disney Company announced Thursday that it was donating $2 million to support humanitarian aid organizations in Israel following the attack in Israel.

"In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks against Jews in Israel this past week, we must do everything we can to support innocent people who are experiencing tremendous pain, violence and uncertainty -- especially children," said Robert A. Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "We condemn the attacks these, the hatred that motivated them and all acts of terrorism, and we will continue to work to find additional ways to provide support in the region, and to respect the victims, their families and everyone affected by this war."

The Walt Disney Company Disney is donating $1 million to Magen David Adom, an affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that provides emergency medical services and blood banking services in Israel and $1 million dollars to other social associations operating in Israel, especially those focused on providing aid to children.

In addition, the company's employees around the world are participating in the international donation program on behalf of Disney "Disney's matching gifts" which matches an identical donation from each company employee (up to $25,000) that will be given by employees to aid organizations in the region.

According to Variety, Paramount Global became the first studio to release a statement condemning the massacre Thursday, which read, in part: “Paramount Global condemns the terrorist attacks by Hamas. We stand with the people of Israel and the global Jewish community. We stand with all the innocent lives impacted. We stand with the children who deserve to be children. We stand united against all acts of terror and hate.”

Paramount Global announced that it had donated $1 million to humanitarian relief efforts by Magen David Adom, NATAL, UJA-Federation of New York and Save the Children. Paramount will also match employee donations to efforts to alleviate suffering in the region.

According to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the heads of many other entertainment companies have sent condemnations of the attack to their employees and are mulling public statements of their own.