NBC Mourns Hollywood’s Anti-Semites Are Facing Consequences

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NBC’s entertainment correspondent Chloe Melas intended to do a report on how people on both sides of Hollywood’s Israel-Hamas War debate are facing blowback for their opinions for Saturday’s edition of Today. However, what she actually ended up doing was lamenting that Hollywood’s anti-Semites are facing consequences for their actions by making false equivalency between Holocaust distortion and false accusations of genocide by Israel with Israel supporters comparing Hamas to ISIS.

In studio, Melas noted, “we all know that Hollywood is no stranger for taking a stand publicly on controversial issues, but this one has people divided on what is free speech and what is hate speech. And the repercussions for going too far could mean being dropped by an agency, or even losing your job.”

Of all the political issues for Hollywood to be divided on, “this one” should be uniting, but it isn’t, as Melas reported “Some have faced fallout for taking fallout on either side of the conflict. Critics have calling for a boycott of the Netflix show Stranger Thing after actor Noah Schnapp posted a video laughing with friends who were holding stickers that read “Zionism is sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS.”

That Hamas, a terrorist organization that rapes and murders, is like ISIS or that Zionism (in other words, Israel’s existence) is “sexy” was put on the same level as news from “last week” when “United Talent Agency dropped actress and activist Susan Sarandon after she spoke at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York telling the crowd that Jewish people are quote ‘getting a taste of what it is like to be Muslim in this country.’”

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After repeating Sarandon’s apology, Melas moved on to Melissa Barrera, who “was fired from the latest Scream film after Instagram posts critical of Israel which included references to colonialism and Western media bias. Barrera later said on social media, ‘I am against anti-Semitism, I am against Islamophobia.’” 

Melas then recalled, “Spy Glass Entertainment, the company behind the franchise said in a statement, “we have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, or the incitement of hate in any form.”

While it was displayed on screen, Melas did not read the part of the statement that said “including false reference to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion” which is important because Melas left those parts of Barrera’s posts out of her report.

Those parts include Barrera linking to an article accusing Israel of distorting the Holocaust to enrich its defense industry and as for “Western media bias,” Melas ignored that Barrera was not-so subtly engaging with the trope that Jews control the media, “Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself.”

What Melas did include was the pretension that this is about their support for a ceasefire, “Fear of retaliation is palpable. More than 400 Hollywood workers signed an anonymous letter, calling for a ceasefire, saying, quote, ‘this is amounting to a new era of McCarthyism.’”

Melas also lamented that “Seema Yasmin, a doctor and author who frequently appears on television says she was dropped by her talent agency, A3, after she called Israel’s actions towards Palestinians ‘genocide’ on social media.”

Would NBC keep someone on the payroll if that person suggested Jews controlled the media or claimed Israel talks about the Holocaust so that its arms industry can make more money? If not, then what’s the problem?

Here is a transcript for the December 2 show:

NBC Today

12/2/2023

8:12 AM ET

CHLOE MELAS: And we all know that Hollywood is no stranger for taking a stand publicly on controversial issues, but this one has people divided on what is free speech and what is hate speech. And the repercussions for going too far could mean being dropped by an agency, or even losing your job. 

This morning, tensions are running high in Hollywood. With actors and writers divided over the Israel-Hamas War. Celebrities including Julianna Margulies and Natalie Portman posted messages of solidarity with Israel on social media while others like model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid have posted in support of the Palestinians. 

Some have faced fallout for taking fallout on either side of the conflict. Critics have calling for a boycott of the Netflix show Stranger Thing after actor Noah Schnapp posted a video laughing with friends who were holding stickers that read “Zionism is sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS”

Last week, United Talent Agency dropped actress and activist Susan Sarandon after she spoke at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York telling the crowd that Jewish people are quote “getting a taste of what it is like to be Muslim in this country.”

Sarandon apologized for her comments, writing on Instagram, “this phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently, Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true.” 

MELISSA BARRERA [AS SAM CARPENTER IN SCREAM]: Who is this? 

MELAS: And Melissa Barrera was fired from the latest Scream film after Instagram posts critical of Israel which included references to colonialism and Western media bias. Barrera later said on social media, “I am against anti-Semitism, I am against Islamophobia.” Spy Glass Entertainment, the company behind the franchise said in a statement, “we have zero tolerance for anti-semitism, or the incitement of hate in any form.”

Fear of retaliation is palpable. More than 400 Hollywood workers signed an anonymous letter, calling for a ceasefire, saying, quote, “this is amounting to a new era of McCarthyism.”

SEEMA YASMIN: I think Hollywood is going to have a reckoning or is in need of a reckoning. 

MELAS: Seema Yasmin, a doctor and author who frequently appears on television says she was dropped by her talent agency A3 after she called Israel’s actions towards Palestinians “genocide” on social media. 

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