‘Sex and the City’s’ Kristin Davis entangled in controversy over Israeli cosmetics endorsement

August 6, 2009

They say no good deed goes unpunished as in the case of “Sex and the City” star Kristin Davis, who was dropped from her role with a human rights group because of her endorsement deal with the Israeli cosmetics company, Ahava. Oxfam International, an organization that fights global poverty and injustice claims that they cannot support Davis’s involvement with Ahava because it operates out of an Israeli settlement.

According to the original New York Post report, Oxfam says Davis’ arrangement with Ahava is problematic due to the fact that Mitzpe Shalem is “disputed” territory. “This has been a huge thing,” a source told the Post. “Ahava has factories on disputed land. From Ahava’s perspective, they are not doing anything wrong. From an Oxfam perspective, Ahava is a polarizing company and Kristin shouldn’t be involved with it.”

Davis became Ahava’s first-ever celebrity spokesperson in September 2007. “I was attracted to Ahava because of their use of the minerals found in the Dead Sea and their commitment to using only high-quality ingredients in their products,” Davis told Women’s Wear Daily at the time. “I noticed a difference in my skin the first time I had an experience with them at a spa.”

In the video below of the official Ahava/Davis launch party, an interviewer tells Davis that her ‘Sex’ co-star, Chris Noth, endorsed an Israeli deodorant and asks if they plan to take over the Israeli cosmetics industry. Davis replies, “I can only be for Ahava because Ahava is special to me and therefore I can only be for Ahava.” You can watch Davis get grilled by the Israeli press during her first visit to the country below.

What Oxfam is referring to as “disputed” territory is Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem, founded in 1970 by a group of Israeli soldiers and located on the Western shore of the Dead Sea in the West Bank. The economy of the Kibbutz depends on the tourism and agriculture tied to its location and many of Ahava’s products use ingredients found in the Dead Sea.

Davis has said she is “saddened” by the situation and intends to continue her work with Oxfam. Maybe when her Ahava contract is up?

Kristin Davis in Israel:

An earlier video of the Ahava launch party in New York (in Hebrew, but Davis’s interview is in English):

More on the controversy from Haaretz:

“[Davis] has been very active with both Oxfam and Ahava, and is very passionate about the causes of Oxfam,” the source told the Post. “She was completely unaware of this conflict of interest and is saddened to be on public pause from a group she has devoted so much time, money, and support to.”

In response, Oxfam told the Post: “Kristin Davis has done great work for Oxfam and we highly value her commitment as a supporter . . . Oxfam remains opposed to settlement trade, in which Ahava is engaged. Both Kristin and Oxfam do not want this issue to detract from the great work we have done in the past and plan to do in the future.”

A spokeswoman for Davis told the Post that the actress still intends to continue her work with Oxfam “for years to come.”


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