Skip to main content

Liev Schreiber, Kat Graham Honored as ‘Ambassadors of Peace’ at Beverly Hills Gala

By October 23, 2023Article
Read the original article here.
The Creative Community for Peace also recognized entertainment attorney Aaron Rosenberg, Saban Music Latin CEO Gustavo Lopez and Epic Records president Ezekiel Lewis
The Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) Ambassadors of Peace event is usually a joyous affair, with about 500 entertainment luminaries sipping cocktails, eating gourmet food and socializing. This year, the nonprofit, which promotes the arts as a bridge to peace, needed a tonal shift, due to the community’s grief over the brutal Hamas attacks in Israel earlier this month and the ensuing war between the terrorist group and the democratic Middle East state.

“We’re not going to let a terrorist attack cancel an event like this,” Ari Ingel, CCFP’s executive director, told Los Angeles before the event, adding that it was important for “people [to] understand the importance of ally-ship and standing with the Jewish community when it’s hurting so badly.”

“If you dehumanize and if you teach children to hate, terrible things can happen,” said CCFP CEO and co-founder David Renzer from the podium. “We’re all about coexistence. We’re all about the power of music and the arts tonight.”

The honorees, who received the Ambassador of Peace award sponsored by Cheryl and Haim Saban and Saban Music Group, were actor/director/producer Liev Schreiber, Epic Records president Ezekiel Lewis, Saban Music Latin CEO Gustavo Lopez, actress and ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees Kat Graham, and entertainment attorney Aaron Rosenberg (Jennifer Lopez, John Legend), whose speech managed to reference both Beyonce and Passover in the same breath.

The gathering took place in a private home in Beverly Hills. Among the attendees were: Endeavor Co-Founder Rick Rosen; Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz; Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr.; Director Guy Nattiv; Warner Records CEO/Co-Chairman Aaron Bay-Schuck; Songwriter Diane Warren; Electronic Arts President of Music Steve Schnur; Epic Records Chairperson Sylvia Rhone; Capitol Music Group Chair & CEO Michelle Jubelirer; Comedian Elon Gold; Virgin Records President Jacqueline Saturn; Actresses Odeya Rush and Swell Ariel Or; and Atlantic Music Group Chairman/CEO Julie Greenwald.

Paying tributes to the honorees in video packages were Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, John Legend, Swizz Beatz, Meghan Trainor, Ciara, Ryan Seacrest, Haim Saban, Deepak Chopra and Justin Tranter, among others.

CCFP’s work started off a lot more music-centric, Ingel explained, focused on encouraging artists to continue to play in Israel despite pressure from the BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) movement, which hoped to economically pressure Israel in response to the country’s treatment of Palestinians.

As boycotting became more aggressive and expanded to other areas of the arts, the organization expanded its vision: educating about antisemitism, and including film and television professionals in their efforts. After the attacks on October 7, CCFP gathered 700 entertainment industry professionals’ signatures for an open letter calling on the community to speak forcefully against Hamas, to not circulate misinformation and to use their platforms to urge the terrorist organization to return the civilian hostages.

Honorees all thanked their mentors, colleagues and families, sharing reflections on their careers and their passions — Lopez, for instance, spoke of a time when Latin music didn’t chart or get exposure. “It took many battles, a lot of passion, and a lot of people to believe [in Latin music],” Lopez said in accepting the award. “I was fortunate to be part of the early days of his development, the blossoming of our music but most important, the culture.”

He also made reference to the Hamas-inflicted violence. “Today we are here in the hopes of the horrific events of October 7 never ever repeat themselves in no place in our Earth,” Lopez said. “Join me for this to end soon and for peace to reign.”

“We are all ‘other’ in some way, shape or form,” Rosenberg said in his acceptance speech. “We have to strive to understand the differences; respect everyone’s rights to remain other and to be safe and secure in being other,” he said. “We cannot stand idly by, we cannot stay silent and allow the hate, terror and false propaganda of others to wipe Israel off the map from the river to the sea. Everyone, Israelis and Palestinians, everyone deserves a homeland where they’re free and safe to raise their children in peace and, God willing, to teach them to love and not to hate.”

“We are all God’s children, we were all created in His image,” said Yetta Kane, a Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter who presented Graham with her award. “Your image spreads the light wherever there’s darkness.”

Graham talked about her “deeply personal” fight against antisemitism; as a descendant of European Jews who fled during the Holocaust, she said, it was her responsibility to raise awareness about antisemitism, which she called “the Western world’s oldest and most pernicious prejudice. … Hatred has no place in this world. And it’s crucial that we all stand together against it. Art has a unique ability to transcend language and cultural barriers. It can and must foster empathy and encourage dialogue.”

“It’s not lost on me that I’m receiving an Ambassador of Peace Award in the midst of some of the darkest days of our history as a human family,” said Lewis following his intro from rapper and singer-songwriter “We must acknowledge the darkness in this day and that people are losing their lives as we speak… This room gives me hope because this room is a microcosm of what can be,” he added, “people from different ethnicities and backgrounds, all together in one place in the spirit of peace and understanding…know that I am in pain with you. Know that I am your friend. Know that I will continue to use music to help unite the world.”

Send this to a friend