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Sia, Debra Messing and Others Join 200+ Entertainment Industry Leaders in Rejection of the Cultural Boycott of Israel and their Support for Israel’s Largest LGBTQ+ Film Festival and its Participating Filmmakers

By October 19, 2022November 17th, 2023Press Release

Mila Kunis, Neil Patrick Harris, Mayim Bialik, Billy Porter, Dame Helen Mirren, Debra Messing, Sia, Phil Rosenthal, Zachary Quinto, Sherry Lansing, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Dana Goldberg, Iliza Shlesinger, Gene Simmons, Greg Berlanti, Michael Ian Black, Tracy Ann Oberman, and Diane Warren among 200+ celebrities and entertainment industry professionals sign open letter against boycott of Israel’s largest LGBTQ+ film festival.

LOS ANGELES (Oct 19 2022) — More than 200 leaders from the entertainment industry have signed an open letter released by the non-profit entertainment industry organization Creative Community For Peace in support of the Tel Aviv International LGBTQ+ Film Festival (TLVFest) and the participating filmmakers.

The entertainment leaders stand united in rejecting the cultural boycott of Israel as yet another roadblock to peace and its subversion of art for nefarious political purposes. As the LGBTQ+ Community around the world continues to face immense discrimination, it is particularly shameful to boycott an event that gives a voice to their stories and struggles.

The open letter comes in response to repeated attempts by anti-Israel activists to boycott a film festival that celebrates international voices from the LGBTQ+ community, including the Middle East. TLVFest represents the epitome of coexistence, and regularly features Palestinian films.

“In Israel, movies have the unique power to bring together Jews, Arabs, and people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds in collaboration under a shared love of the arts, working together towards the common goal of telling their stories, and building bridges of compassion and understanding,” the letter reads.

Signatories to the open letter include: Neil Patrick Harris (Actor); Dame Helen Mirren (Actress); Mila Kunis (Actress); Zach Quinto (Actor); Mayim Bialik (Actress); Sia (Artist and Songwriter); Debra Messing (Actress); Emmanuelle Chriqui (Actress); Aaron Bay-Schuck (CEO/Co-Chairman Warner Record); Jeremy Piven (Actor, Comedian); Marty Adelstein (CEO Tomorrow Studios); Jonathan Tucker (Actor); Billy Porter (Actor); Gene Simmons (Artist, KISS); Greg Berlanti (Producer, Director); Haim Saban (Chairman & CEO, Saban Capital Group); Iliza Shlesinger (Comedian); Robbie Rogers (Athlete); Dana Goldberg (Chief Creative Officer of Skydance); Simon Callow (Actor); Tracy Ann Oberman (Actress); Lance Bass (Artist); David Burtka (Actor); John Benjamin Hickey (Actor); Rick Rosen (Co-Founder of Endeavor); Ben Silverman (Chairman & Co-CEO, Propagate Content); Melissa Rivers (Actress, TV Host); Paul Feig (Actor/Director); Michael Rotenberg (Partner, 3 Arts Entertainment); Eric Balfour (Actor); Rachel Riley (TV Host); Richard Benjamin (Actor/Director); Diane Warren (Songwriter); and Sherry Lansing (Former CEO of Paramount Pictures) amongst many others.

The letter’s signatories believe strongly in the power of film to bring people together, transcend boundaries, broaden awareness, and affect positive societal change. They also call on their friends and colleagues to join in expressing support for a successful TLVFest 2022.

“We stand united with all the participating filmmakers against the divisive rhetoric espoused by boycott activists who seek to misinform, bully and intimidate artists into removing their films from the festival or shame them for participating in the festival,” the letter continues.

“Anti-Israel boycott activists continually use incendiary language and misrepresent the facts to try and bully filmmakers into backing out. Their reckless use of misinformation only furthers hostility and decreases the chance for peace, which all of us so urgently desire,” stated Ari Ingel, Director of Creative Community for Peace.

Ingel added that “instead of amplifying the voices of coexistence and peace trying to effect real change on the ground, those who support the calls for a boycott are only creating more division and fear.”

Creative Community for Peace aims to promote the arts and culture as a means to peace and to counter and educate the entertainment industry about rising antisemitism. To learn more about their work, visit www.creativecommunityforpeace.com.

 

OPEN LETTER

We, the undersigned, believe that artistic freedom and creative expression are critical to a healthy, diverse, and inclusive society.

Films have the power to bring people together, transcend boundaries, broaden awareness, and affect positive societal change.

In Israel, movies have the unique power to bring together Jews, Arabs, and people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds in collaboration under a shared love of the arts, working together towards the common goal of telling their stories, and building bridges of compassion and understanding.

The annual Tel Aviv International LGBTQ Film Festival (TLVFest) embodies this spirit of unity and truth, featuring films from filmmakers of all backgrounds, including Palestinians.

For this reason, we reject any attempt to boycott TLVFest – Israel’s largest LGBTQ Film Festival — which works to showcase the stories of LGBTQ people globally and create a brighter future for LGBTQ people both inside Israel and around the world.

We stand united with all the participating filmmakers against the divisive rhetoric espoused by boycott activists who seek to misinform, bully and intimidate artists into removing their films from the festival or shame them for participating in the festival.

We believe that anyone who works to subvert TLVFest merely adds yet another roadblock to freedom, justice, equality, and peace that we all desperately desire, especially for the LGBTQ community that is persecuted throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Artists should never be silenced, and art should not be subverted for political goals.

We call on our friends and colleagues worldwide to join us in expressing their support for a successful and exciting TLVFest 2022.

 

SIGNATORIES

Aaron Bay-Schuck: CEO/Co-Chairman Warner Records

Jason Adelman: Vice President, Brand Innovators

Orly Adelson: Producer, Orly Adelson Productions

Marty Adelstein: CEO, Tomorrow Studios

Michael Adler: Partner of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark Inc.

Javier Adrados: Music Journalist

Dan Aloni: Partner, Motion Pictures, William Morris Endeavor

Buck Angel: Trans Activist and Filmmaker, Actor

Nate Auerbach: Partner, Versus Creative

Michael Auerbach: Partner at Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein

Eric Balfour: Actor

Craig Balsam: Co-Founder, Razor & Tie Entertainment

Eve Barlow: Music/Culture Journalist

Jonathan Baruch: Partner, Rain Management Group

Richard Baskind: Partner & Head of Music, Simons Muirhead & Burton

Lance Bass: Artist, Entrepreneur

Miles Beard: Executive VP of A&R, Republic Records

Jonathan Beckerman: Agent, United Talent Agency

Pablo Bendersky: Producer/Artist

Aton Ben-Horin: Executive VP of Global A&R, Atlantic Records Group

Richard Benjamin: Actor/Director

Steven Bensusan: President, Blue Note Entertainment Group

Shelly Berger: Music Manager

Adam Berkowitz: Founder and President, Lenore Entertainment Group

Greg Berlanti: Producer, Director

Sara Berman: Artist

Luc Bernard: Director, Voices of the Forgotten

Mayim Bialik: Actress

Sharon Bialy: Casting Director

Josh Binder: Partner, Rotherberg, Mohr, and Binder LLP

Michael Ian Black: Actor

Neil Blair: Partner, The Blair Partnership

Evan Bogart: Songwriter & CEO, Seeker Music

Howard Bragman: Publicist

Josh Brill: Writer, Producer

Jurgen Bruning: Producer

A.J. Buckley: Actor

David Burtka: Actor/Chef

David Byrnes: Partner, Ziffren, Brittenham, LLP

Sir Colin Callender CBE: Producer and CEO, Playground Entertainment

Simon Callow: Actor, Director

Nick Carter: Artist

Markell Casey: Senior Director A&R, Sony Music Australia

Brian Celler: Bravo Charlie Management 

Pamela Charbit: A&R Manager, Atlantic Records

Emmanuelle Chriqui: Actress, Activist

Erran Baron Cohen: Composer

Paul Colichman: Chief Executive Officer at Here Media, Inc.

Victoria S. Cook: Partner, Frankfurt Kurmit Klein & Selz

Leanne Coronel: President, The Coronel Group

Raye Cosbert: Managing Director, Metropolis Music

Ben Cosgrove: CEO, Leviathan Productions

Ian Daly: Head of Brand Strategy, Live Nation

Greg Daniels: Writer and Producer

Yuval David: Actor, Host, Filmmaker, and Advocate

Josh Deutsch: Chairman/CEO, Premier Music Group

Jenna Dewan: Actress

Avi Diamond: Director, Film & Licensing Warner Chappell Music

Kosha Dillz: Artist

Craig Dorfman: President and Owner, Frontline MGMT 

David Draiman: Artist, Frontman of Disturbed

Doug Ellin: Screenwriter, Director

Stephan Elliott: Director

Craig Emanuel: Partner, Paul Hastings LLC

Ron Fair: Record Producer & CEO, Faircraft Inc.

Sharon Farber: Composer

Daniel Federman: Owner, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Eric Feig: Founder, Eric Feig Entertainment & Media Law Inc.

Paul Feig: Actor, Director, Producer

Ryan Feldman: Agent, William Morris Endeavor

Patti Felker: Partner, Felker Toczek Gelman Suddleson

Jacob Fenton: Partner, United Talent Agency

Ken Fermaglich: Partner, United Talent Agency

Rodney Ferrell: EVP, Head of Scripted, Propagate

Greg Fleishman: Co-Founder & CEO, Foodstirs

Josh Fluxgold: President, One Way MGMT

Erica Forster: VP of Music Partnerships, DanceOn

Gary Foster: Principal at Krasnoff Foster Productions

Eytan Fox: Director

Jordan Frazes: Founder, Frazes Creative

Ben Freeman: Educator and Writer

Sonia Friedman OBE: Theatre Producer

Stephen Fry: Actor

Siri Garber: President, Platform Public Relations

David Gardner: President, Artists First

Nancy Gates: Partner, United Talent Agency

Andrew Genger: Manager, Red Light Management

Gary Gersh: President of Global Talent, AEG

Gary Ginsberg: Former Senior VP, SoftBank Group Corp.

Daniel Glass: President and Founder, Glassnote Records

Karen Glauber: President, HITS Magazine

David Glick: Founder & CEO, Edge Group

Elon Gold: Comedian

Dana Goldberg: Chief Creative Officer, Skydance

Iddo Goldberg: Actor

Michael Goldwasser: Producer & President/Co-Founder, Easy Star Records

Michael Gordon: Partner, CAA

Andrew Gould: EVP Music Publishing, Roc Nation

Trudy Green: Trudy Green Management/HK

Steve Greenberg: President, S-Curve Records

Scott Greenberg: Manager and Partner at LBI Entertainment

Joao Rui Guerra da Mata: Director, Production Designer

Paul Haas: Agent, Partner William Morris Endeavor

Sarah Halioua: Producer and Partner, Abracadabra Audiovisual

Neil Patrick Harris: Actor

Ronnie Harris: Partner, Harris & Trotter LLP

John Benjamin Hickey: Actor

Antony Hickling: Director

Tom Holland: Author/Historian

Erik Hyman: Partner, Paul Hastings

Richard “BournRich” Ingram: Artist, Creative Director

Neil Jacobson: Founder, Hallwood Media

Jonathan Jakubowicz: Writer and Director

Aharon Keshales: Filmmaker

Zach Katz: President and COO, FaZe Clan

Lee Kern: Screenwriter

Scott Kluge: President, Tremendous Entertainment

Amanda Kogan: Agent, The Gersh Agency

Rick Krim: Co-Founder, Worldwired Music

Mila Kunis: Actress

Gabz Landman

Sherry Lansing: Former CEO of Paramount Pictures

Joanie Leeds: Singer/Songwriter

Sam Leifer: Writer/Director

Teddy Leifer: Producer

Martin Lesak: Partner, United Talent Agency

Colin Lester OBE: Founder/Chairman, JEM Music Group

David Levy: Partner, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

David Levy: Former President of Turner/WarnerMedia, Founder of Back Nine Ventures

Jonathan Lipnicki: Actor

David Lonner: CEO, The David Lonner Co. 

Ben Maddahi: SVP A&R, Columbia Records

Imran Majid: Co-CEO, Island Records

Gabriel Mann: Composer/Producer 

Susan Markheim: Manager, Full Stop Mgt., The Azoff Company

Orly Marley: President, Tuff Gong Worldwide

Rachel Mason: Director

Nancy Matalon: VP of A&R, Spirit Music Group

Biran Maya: Actor, Producer

David Mazouz: Actor

AJ McLean: Artist

Doron Medalie: Composer

Debra Messing: Actress

Helen Mirren DRE: Actress

Matthew Mishory: Actor

Max Mutchnick: Executive Producer

Guy Nattiv: Director

Leetal Nissenbaum: VP of Synchronization and Licensing, Ultra Records

Lisa Nupoff: Manager, IMINMUSIC Management 

Tracy Ann Oberman: Actress

Sharon Osbourne: Television Personality, Manager

Navot Papushado: Director

Mandi Perkins: Artist, Songwriter

Trevor Phillips OBE: Journalist and Commentator

Henry Platt: Musician

Jonah Platt: Actor/Writer

Jeremy Piven: Actor, Comedian

Billy Porter: Actor

Mike Praw: Entertainment Industry Executive

Paula Prentiss: Actress

Zachary Quinto: Actor

Itay Reiss: Talent Manager

David Renzer: Former Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing

Zak Resnick: Actor

Rachel Riley: TV Host

Melissa Rivers: Actress, TV Host

Lindy Robbins: Artist

Jaimison M. Roberts: Attorney

Hanna Rochelle: Founder & President, Lyric Culture

Poao Pedro Rodrigues: Filmmaker

Robbie Rogers: Professional Soccer Player

Dan Rosen: President of Warner Music Australasia

Rick Rosen: Co-Founder, Endeavor

Howard Rosenman: Producer, Actor, Writer

Shep Rosenman: Partner, Katz Golden Roseman LLP

Phil Rosenthal: Writer, Producer          

Michael Rotenberg:  Partner, 3 Arts Entertainment

Autumn Rowe: Songwriter, Producer, DJ

David Russell: Manager, Crush Music

Haim Saban: Chairman & CEO, Saban Capital Group

Asif Satchu: Co-CEO, MRC and Producer

Jacqueline Saturn: President, Virgin Music

Danielle Savre: Actress

Ayelet Schiffman: SVP Head of Promotions, Island Records

Paul Schindler: Senior Chair of the New York Entertainment and Media Practice

Steve Schnur: President of Music, Electronic Arts

Jordan Schur: CEO & Chairman, Mimran Schur Pictures & Suretone Entertainment

Sam Schwartz: Partner, Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

Camila Seta: Marketing & Content Strategy, Rogers & Cowan

DJ White Shadow: Producer/Artist

Iliza Shlesinger: Comedian, Actress

Emile Sherman: Director, Producer

Noah “Westside Gravy” Shufutinsky: Artist

Sia: Artist and Songwriter

Ben Silverman: Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Propagate Content

Gene Simmons: Artist, KISS

Ralph Simon: Chairman & CEO, Mobilium Global Limited

Marty Singer: Attorney, Lavely and Singer

Robert Singer: President, Dec. 3rd Productions

Jeff Sosnow: EVP A&R, Warner Music

Nancy Spielberg: Filmmaker

Donna Spievak: Director of Strategic Marketing, Interscope Records

Justin Sternberg: Writer

Gary Stiffelman: Founder, GSS Law

Aaron Symonds: Composer    

Traci Szymanski: President, Co-Star Entertainment

Alona Tal: Actress

Adam Taylor: President, APM Music

Fred Toczek: Partner, Felker Toczek Gelman Suddleson

Eric Tuchman: Writer, Producer

Jonathan Tucker: Actor

Ronli Tzour: VP Marketing & Manager, First Access Entertainment

Gal Uchovsky: Director

Ian Van der Putten: Cinemien

Tehran Von Ghasri: Entertainer

Ariel Vroman: Director

Jeremy Vuernick: Executive VP of A&R, Capitol Records

Diane Warren: Songwriter, Producer

Joshua Washington: Artist, Producer

Tom Watson: Former Shadow Secretary of State for Culture

Jon Weinbach: President, Skydance Sports

Nola Weinstein: Global Head of Culture & Experiential, Twitter

Ron West: Co-founder and Partner, Thruline Entertainment

Evan Winiker: Managing Partner, Range Media

Modi Wiczyk: Co-CEO, MRC and Producer

Jeffrey Winter: Executive Director, The Film Collaborative 

Shirin Yadegar: Journalist

Sharon Tal Yguado: Founder & CEO, Astrid Entertainment

Sebastian Zar Esq.: Sedlmayr & Associates

David Zedeck: Global Head of Music, United Talent Agency

Additional Signers:

Phillip Guttmann: Writer, Producer

Orly Ravid: Founder & Co-Executive Director, The Film Collaborative

Amnon Lourie: Writer, Producer

Predrag Azdejkovix: Director, Merlinka Queer Film Festival – Belgrade

Nate Dushku: Director, Producer, Birder, Maplethorpe

Andrei Zinca: Director, Writer, Producer

Elana Podolskaya: Antipode Sales International LLC

Henrika Kull: Director

Thunska Pansittivorakul: Director, Sleep of Reasons Films

Marc Putman: CEO, PRIDEtv

Bjorn Koll: Salzgeber

Kai Tillman: Filmmaker

Jason Laurits: Filmmmaker

Adrian Hume Robinson: Actor, Filmmaker

Wiktor Morka: CEO, LGBT+ Film Festival Poland

Abe Gurko: Writer, Producer, Won’t Be Silent LLC

Stefan Manthey: Photographer

Kai Stanicke: Director

Laurent Burst: Photographer, Media Founder

Pauline Jabes: Filmmaker

Joshua Rosenzweig: Creative Executive

Andrea Krauss: Programming Director, Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

Andy Vallentine: Director

Bohdan Zhuk: Director SUNNY BUNNY LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, Kyib

Allison Tate: Lead Producer, Big Boys Feature Film

Martin Rodriguez Redondo: Filmmaker

Olivier Ducastel: Director

Jacques Matineau: Director

Monika Treut: Hyena Films

Alante Kavaite: Film Director

Keith Levy: Sher Vine Inc.

Stefan Westerwelle: Director

Jakub Mroz: CEO, Tongariro Releasing

Romas Zabarauskas: Director

Michael Stock: Filmmaker

Marc Smolowitz: 13th Gen, Director, Producer, Executive Producer

Prederico Evaristo: Filmmaker, Brazil

Maria Katsikadakoy Cyber: Artist, Greece

Michelle Ehlen: Director, Producer

Rona Lee Shimon: Actor, Artist

Pepe Ruiloba: Film Critic, Festival Programmer

Amit Rahav: Actor

Ursula Raberger:  Psychotherapist and Film Scientist

Jeffrey Schwarz: Documentary Filmmaker

Johanna Jackie Baier: Director

Malgorzata Kubiak: The Ego Trip Label

Ron Leshem: Writer, Producer

Moran Resenblatt: Actor

Eli Roth: Director

Kristina Maca: Director, Writer, Actor

Sonia Jean-Baptiste: Co-Founder & Head Programmer, Chelsea Film Festival NYC

Ingrid Jean-Baptiste: Founder & Artistic Director, Chelsea Film Festival NYC

Jen Cohn: Voiceover, On Camera, Gaming and Fashion

Wieland Speck: Filmmaker, ex Berlinale Panorama Director

FranckFiance-Madureira: President, Founder Queer Palm

Till Kleinert: Writer, Director

Stephane Riethauser: Director Lambda Prod

Fabian Stumm: Actor, Director

Rosa von Praunheim: Director

Daniela Aguinsky: Filmmaker, Artist Audiovisual

Julius Fedlmeier: Actor, Director

Clemens Schick: Actor

** Note – The signers of this statement do so as individuals on their own behalf and not on behalf of their companies or organizations. All organizations and companies listed are for affiliation purposes only.

 

Cover Photo Collage: Photo Credits: Bill Porter: NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 05: Billy Porter attends Variety’s 2022 Power Of Women: New York Event Presented By Lifetime at The Glasshouse on May 05, 2022 in New York City. // Debra Messing: LOS ANGELES – JUN 9: Debra Messing at the “Will & Grace” FYC Event at the Harmony Gold Theatre on June 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA // Sia: LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 8, 2013: Australian singer Sia Furler at the 15th Anniversary TrevorLIVE gala to benefit the Trevor Project at the Hollywood Palladium. // Mila Kunis: Mila Kunis at Part 2-American Woman Fashioning a National Identity Benefit Gala Co-Hosted by GAP for the Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York May 3, 2010

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