September 16, 2019

Actor Declines Netflix Audition Because of Israeli Producing Affiliation

Photo from Flickr.

Actor David Clennon wrote in an Aug. 7 piece for the social justice news site Truthout that he declined an audition for a Netflix show because of the series’ connections to Israel.

Clennon, who has starred in “Gone Girl” and “The Thing,” wrote that he was preparing for a September audition for the upcoming series “Sycamore/Hit and Run” when he noticed that the series “will be a co-production of U.S. and Israeli companies” and that “two of the creative executive producers of the new series, Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz, are also the creator-producers of the Israeli Netflix series ‘Fauda.’”

Clennon then criticized “Fauda” for not providing “the historical context of the conquest of Palestine” and portraying the Palestinians as “cowardly beasts.” He also argued that “the Israeli government will benefit from the prestige of creative partnerships with Hollywood. These show business relationships matter, politically. The Israeli Foreign Ministry runs the ‘Brand Israel’ campaign to use culture, entertainment and technology to counter Israel’s negative image in the world as a racist state that systematically violates human rights.”

The actor proceeded to endorse the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa.

“I believe the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is of special importance, and I admire the professors and artists who have refused to lecture or to perform in Israel,” Clennon wrote. “Through their refusal, they have denied Israel the legitimacy and the prestige it seeks in the world community. I have been encouraged by intellectuals and artists like Stephen Hawking and Lorde, who have honored the boycott.”

He concluded that he couldn’t “participate in the whitewashing of Israel’s image” despite not being “employed for a year and a half.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement to the Journal, “Has this actor turned downed a role because of Syria? China? Venezuela? Cuba? Turkey? Russia?” He argued that Clennon singled out “Israel, [the] lone democracy in Middle East, 20 percent of whose citizens are Arabs and struggles each day against Palestinian terrorism.”

Cooper added that the “only hope for” peace is “if both sides engage each other with respect. This actor’s decision reinforces delusional Palestinian Authority’s official policy of no normalization of human contact with Israelis. Disgrace.”

The Israel Group Founder and President Jack Saltzberg similarly said in a statement to the Journal, “David Clennon is a D-list actor that virtually nobody knows outside of a few Hollywood casting offices. Unfortunately, he is getting more publicity from boycotting Israel than his entire career has brought him. After searching the Internet, I still could not find when Clennon publicly condemned any Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel that have taken the lives of thousands of innocent men, women, and children, or when he called out Saudi Arabia for their treatment of women and homosexuals, or Syria for murdering hundreds of thousands their own people. This is clear anti-Semitism, front and center.”