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Susan Sarandon apologises for pro-Palestine rally comment after being dropped by agency

Susan Sarandon has issued an apology for remarks she made at a pro-Palestinian rally that led to her being dropped by her talent agency.

Last month, the Hollywood star, whose credits include The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Thelma & Louise, gave a speech at the New York protest amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

During her address to the crowd, Sarandon, 77, said: “There are a lot of people afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country.”

After receiving criticism for her comment, she was dropped by United Talent Agency (UTA) – and now, Sarandon has apologised, calling her wording a “terrible mistake”.

She posted on Instagram: “Recently, I attended a rally alongside a diverse group of activists seeking to highlight the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call for a ceasefire. I had not planned to speak but was invited to take the stage and say a few words.”

She continued: “Intending to communicate my concern for an increase in hate crimes, I said that Jewish Americans, as the targets of rising antisemitic hate, ‘are getting a taste of what it is like to be Muslim in this country’, so often subjected to violence.

“This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true. As we all know, from centuries of oppression and genocide in Europe to the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, PA, Jews have long been familiar with discrimination and religious violence which continues to this day.

“I deeply regret diminishing this reality and hurting people with this comment. It was my intent to show solidarity to the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so.”

Susan Sarandon apologises for ‘terrible phrasing’ during pro-Palestine speech (Instagram)
Susan Sarandon apologises for ‘terrible phrasing’ during pro-Palestine speech (Instagram)

Sarandon has a long history of political activism. The Hollywood star became a prominent voice in the anti-war movement during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during his term in office.

In 2018, Sarandon was arrested during a Women’s March protest in Washington DC in opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

She was arrested again earlier this year at a protest demanding fair wages for restaurant workers at the New York State Capitol in Albany.

Susan Sarandon (Getty Images for Christian Siria)
Susan Sarandon (Getty Images for Christian Siria)

News of Sarandon being dropped by her agency arrived as Melissa Barrera was fired from Scream VII due to her Instagram posts about the Israel-Hamas war.

On Tuesday (21 November), sources confirmed to Deadline and Variety that Barrera, 33, has been dropped from Spyglass Media’s forthcoming sequel over the posts, which have been perceived as antisemitic.

She wrote in an Instagram Story: “Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself.”

On Friday (1 December), a letter was signed by 1,300 actors and artists accusing cultural institutions across Western countries of censoring those speaking out on behalf of Palestine. Among the names listed were Olivia Colman, Harriet Walter, Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood and Derry Girls actor Siobhán McSweeney.