Debra Messing, Mila Kunis, and Mayim Bialik are among the celebrities who have signed an open letter urging Amazon and Barnes and Noble to stop selling the antisemitic documentary and book pushed by Kyrie Irving.
The letter, organized by Creative Community for Peace, calls out the two retail giants — and their leaders, Jeff Bezos and James Daunt — for refusing to remove the “fallacious book and movie” Hebrews to Negroes. It was also signed by comedian Iliza Shlesinger, songwriter Diane Warren, Disturbed frontman David Draiman, as well as various figures in the entertainment industry.
Hebrews to Negroes first appeared as a book in 2015, written by Ronald Dalton Jr., who later turned it into a movie in 2018. It was the movie version that Irving shared a link to at the end of October, with Rolling Stone reporting on the array of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes contained in it.
“The book and movie, and its contents, have been shared by several high-profile individuals causing tremendous harm to the Jewish community while spreading dangerous misinformation to an impressionable public that may be susceptible to its propaganda,” the new open letter states. “These works promote numerous antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact, including manufactured Hitler quotes, false claims of Jewish power and control, that the Jewish people fabricated the Holocaust, and that the Jewish people are fake Jews.”
Amazon did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment, though a spokesperson for Barnes and Noble said it had removed the book “several days ago” in a statement shared with Rolling Stone. The bookseller also said it had not been aware of the Creative Community for Peace letter before it was brought to their attention.
“We do not knowingly carry books that constitute or condone hate speech of any type,” the B&N statement read. “Accordingly, we always remove anti-Semitic and otherwise racist titles from our database as we are made aware of them. Titles themselves flow into our database automatically from publishers and evidently objectionable titles will appear. As soon as we are aware of such titles, we remove them. These particular titles were promptly removed several days ago when we learned that they had been posted on our site.”
The letter claims that in the weeks since Irving tweeted out a link to the movie, the film has seen a “spike in viewership” on Amazon. It also claimed that, over the past week, the book version “has become a bestseller” on both the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.
“Your companies are profiting from hate,” the letter reads. “At a time in America where there are more per capita hate crimes against Jews than any other minority, overwhelmingly more religious-based hate crimes against the Jewish people than any other religion, and more hate crimes against the Jewish people in New York than any other minority, where a majority of American Jews live, it is unacceptable to allow this type of hate to foment on your platforms.”
Irving spent several days embroiled in controversy after tweeting out the movie and initially refusing to issue an explicit apology. He was ultimately suspended from the Brooklyn Nets for several games and lost his partnership with Nike. Last Friday, he finally issued a statement saying, “To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize.”
This story was updated on 11/11/22 at 2:21 p.m. ET with a statement from Barnes and Noble.