Entertainment industry group responds to Lorde’s Israel cancellation

By December 24, 2017Blog Post

We — the undersigned artists and entertainment industry executives — are deeply disappointed that Lorde canceled her show in Tel Aviv after receiving pressure from the radical boycott Israel movement. Artists should never become beholden to the political views of a small but loud minority.

The boycott movement, while often painting itself as a movement for human rights, is actually a political movement ultimately aiming to extinguish the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Ignoring the many flaws in the other countries on Lorde’s world tour (including the US, the UK, and Russia), the movement singled out Israel —  and only Israel — for a boycott.

Over the past several years, many artists have come under the same pressure Lorde faced from this boycott group over the past week. Some have canceled their shows, but the vast majority — many hundreds, in fact — have stood strong. Recently, several artists have spoken out loudly and forcefully against the divisive, polarizing, and dictatorial nature of the boycott Israel movement.

“All of this creates divisive energy,” Thom Yorke of Radiohead said in June in response to the pressure he was receiving from boycott groups. “You’re not bringing people together. You’re not encouraging dialogue or a sense of understanding.”

The boycott movement is certainly not encouraging real dialogue or a sense of understanding. In fact, they are doing the exact opposite. The boycott movement has come out as a strong opponent of real dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, even going so far as to denounce projects that work to bring young Israelis and Palestinians together through music.

“The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white,” Thom said. “I have a problem with that.”

Indeed, the entire narrative and worldview of the anti-Israel boycott movement is one that’s black or white, with no room for the shades of grey inherent in the immensely complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In their view, Israel is wrong and that’s the end of the story. As reasonable people realize, however, it is not quite that simple.

Artists are given a choice by boycott activists; either accept the entirety of the boycott narrative, which includes shockingly extreme and false accusations against Israel utilizing inflammatory language such as “apartheid” and “genocide,” and even comparing Israel’s actions to that of Nazi Germany, or become a target of relentless pressure and bullying.

“It suddenly became very important to make a stand against those people that are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians,” Nick Cave said recently about his decision to perform in Israel in the face of boycott wrath.

Lorde became the target of that wrath, and we’re deeply disappointed that rather than rebuff the boycott movement and follow in the footsteps of Radiohead, Nick Cave, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, and many other artists who have chosen to build #BridgesNotBoycotts, she canceled her show.

We, the undersigned, and the more than thirty thousand people who have signed our anti-boycott petition, will continue to work for a more peaceful future for Palestinians, Israelis, and the entire region. We truly believe that art and music can and should be part of the solution.

Jason Adelman, head of brand strategy and business development, Habana Avenue

Orly Adelson, president of Orly Adelson Productions

Marty Adelstein, CEO of Tomorrow Studios

Craig Balsam, co-founder of Razor & Tie Entertainment

Richard Baskind, partner and head of music at Simons Muirhead & Burton

Aton Ben-Horin, global head of A&R a Warner Music Group

Steven Bensusan, president of Blue Note Entertainment Group

Adam Berkowitz, co-head of the television department at Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Josh Binder, Davis Shapiro & Lewit LLP

David Byrnes, partner of Ziffren, Brittenham, LLP

Civia Caroline, president of Clic Entertainment

Josh Deutsch, chairman/CEO of Downtown Records

David Draiman, musician

Craig Emanuel, partner of Loeb & Loeb LLP

Ron Fair, record producer and former chief creative officer and executive vp of Virgin Americans

Marc Fineman, founder and CEO of FINE

Erica Forster, vp of music partnerships at DanceOn

Gary Foster, principal of Krasnoff Foster Productions

Andrew Genger, Red Light Entertainment

Gary Gersh, president of global talent at AEG Presents

Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group

Gary Ginsberg, executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications of Time Warner Inc.

Daniel Glass, president and founder of Glassnote Entertainment Group

David Glick, founder and CEO of Edge Group

Andrew Gould

Trudy Green, Trudy Green Management/HK Management

Larry Katz, entertainment attorney

Zach Katz, chief creative officer of BMG Chrysalis, North America

Amanda Kogan, WME

Rick Krim, west coast president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Colin Lester, CEO of JEM Artists

David Levy, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME)

David Lonner, CEO of Oasis Media Group

Ben Maddahi, president of Unrestricted

Scott Packman, esquire

Donald S. Passman, partner of Gang, Tyre, Ramer, and Brown, Inc.

Dean Raise, manager at C3 Presents

David Renzer, chairman of Spirit Music Group and former chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group

Hanna Rochelle, founder and president of Lyric Culture

Rick Rosen, head of the television department at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME)

Steve Schnur, worldwide executive and music president of Electronic Arts

Sam Schwartz, co-principal of Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

Ben Silverman, chairman and co-chief executive officer of Propagate Content

Ralph Simon, chairman & chief executive officer of Mobilium Global Limited

Jeff Sosnow, SVP artist and reportoire at Warner Music Group

Gary Stiffelman, partner of Greenberg Traurig LLP

Aaron Symonds, film composer

Traci Szymanski, president of Co-Star Entertainment/Isrealife Media Group

Adam Taylor, president of APM Music.

Sharon Tal Yguado, head of event series at Amazon

Please note that all organizations are listed for affiliation only.

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