With the exception of the rare conservative, Hollywood has long seemed to exist in an ideological bubble — a bastion of progressive politics, where Jewish people have flourished, Democratic politicians have been celebrated and stars have espoused liberal ideas from the Oscar stage. And have rushed to support movements like Black Lives Matter.
For the most part, people in the entertainment world can trust that they’re on the same political page.
This changed suddenly with Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October. The reactions to the attack and Israel’s retaliation have revealed a schism that many in Hollywood did not realize, and have left many Jews feeling like outsiders in the industry they founded and where they have long been based. Felt safe and supported.
“There are divisions that are never really talked about,” said veteran screenwriter Barry Skolnick, whose credits include TV shows like “Law & Order” and “The Good Wife.” “It’s brought them to the surface, and it’s sad and disorienting.”
Many say they are disappointed and angry at Hollywood’s public condemnation of the October 7 attacks. There was no flood of support from celebrities on social media. Most studios tried to keep quiet at first. A leading union, the Writers Guild of America, declined to provide a statement, and stuck to its decision despite massive opposition from hundreds of its members.
,the silence has been deafening,” Anti-Defamation League director Jonathan Greenblatt told entertainment business news site The Wrap on October 12.
some statements and open letter People started coming to condemn Hamas attacks. But the damage was done.
For producer Jeremy Steckler, “The lack of support feels like they’re attacking my heart and my identity.”
“I’ve never been someone who’s been overly concerned with identity or a specific religion,” he said. “I’ve always thought I’m in this little bubble and everyone is supporting me and it’s L.A. and it’s no big deal. It’s actually only been the last week I’ve been waking up and feeling otherworldly.
While its impact is evident in Hollywood, where there is a large Jewish presence, liberal America as a whole has been similarly hurt. On Capitol Hill, on college campuses and among progressive activist groups and philanthropists, a raw divide has emerged. On one side there is strong support for Israel. On the other hand, there is an active group that looks at the Palestinian issue. Expansion of racial and social justice movements Which spread to the United States in the summer of 2020. And others, including Jewish people, are also calling for a ceasefire.
In Hollywood, the most prominent example of the fraught nature of this moment is the dispute involving the Writers Guild, which represents over 11,000 screenwriters.
Jewish writers reacted with horror at the guild’s refusal to condemn attacks on Israel. Some threatened to leave the union, while others, including writer and producer Marc Guggenheim (“Arrow,” “Carnival Row”), said they were withholding dues. But an unknown pro-Palestinian group calls itself WGA for Peace. Sangh’s decision appreciatedSaying that its members were afraid to reveal their identities because they would be labeled anti-Semites.
“After October 7, it will not be difficult for people to make statements that say rape or murder or abduction of civilians is not acceptable under any circumstances – and move us toward a just future for Jews and Palestinians in Israel. Work needs to be done and Palestine,” said Rabbi Sharon Brous, founder and senior rabbi of Iker, a congregation in Los Angeles where many screenwriters, directors and Hollywood executives are members.
“But that didn’t happen,” she said. “And as a result, a lot of people are shocked, scared.”