As hundreds of thousands of Israeli troops mass on the border with Gaza for a near-certain ground invasion in response to murderous terrorist attacks that started last week, the striking SAG-AFTRA has planted its flag in the dire situation.
“SAG-AFTRA deplores and condemns the horrific acts of aggression against the Israeli people on Oct. 7,” bluntly said the 160,000-member strong guild Friday.
“The attack was a fundamental violation of human rights and dignity,” the guild added. “There is no justification for the murder and kidnapping of civilians. We mourn the loss of life and urge the safe return of those who are missing and held hostage.
“We stand united against hatred and violence and pray for peace.”
Friday’s comment by SAG-AFTRA echoes in many ways what the Directors Guild of America put out on October 11, one of the first of what is now many Hollywood groups and studios to offer their support for the Jewish state and condemn the killing of more than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals by Hamas.
“The DGA unequivocally condemns terrorism and joins the many voices in our community decrying the recent Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and violence against innocent civilians,” the union said this week. “We stand against the growing spread of antisemitism here in the U.S. and abroad, and remain committed in our actions, words and deeds to supporting the Jewish people.”
Dozens and dozens of civilians and military personnel also have been taken hostage by Hamas and are now in Gaza. As Israeli airstrikes pound the area, and with American battleships off the coast, Hamas has promised to kill the hostages in retaliation to any further reaction from Tel Aviv or Washington.
Preceded by remarks from MRC on October 10, the DGA’s declaration soon was followed by a joint statement from the likes of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Haim Saban, UTA co-founder Jim Berkus, CAA’s Chris Silbermann, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz, Paramount’s Brian Robbins and many more. “We unequivocally stand in solidarity with Israel in the global fight against terrorism,” the luminaries exclaimed.
In the past few days, Paramount Global and mega-agencies WME, CAA and UTA also expressed their support for Israel and their revulsion at the butchery.
Disney’s Bob Iger and Dana Walden sent out separate missives internally to staffers during the past three days deploring the attack and the bloody fallout, as did and Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav
On Thursday night, Disney announced that it was donating $2 million to humanitarian relief in Israel and the surrounding region.
“In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks targeting Jews in Israel this past weekend, we must all do what we can to support the innocent people experiencing so much pain, violence and uncertainty – particularly children,” said a note from CEO Iger accompanying news of the donation. That was followed today by a similar $2 million donation from Comcast and a $1 million donation from Skydance.
Disney gave $1 million to Magen David Adom, an affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and a variety of other nonprofit organizations that provide aid to children in Israel will receive the other $1 million. Comcast gave $1.5 million to Save the Children Federation, Doctors Without Borders, Direct Relief and American Friends of Magen David Adom.
The NBCUniversal parent also is donating up to $500,000 for all employee donations to these organizations, in addition to contributions that they already have made through our matching-gift program. Disney is matching up to $25,000 from employees in charitable donations to Israel and the crisis.
The WGA is now the only major creative guild in Hollywood to have not made a statement in support of Israel and condemning the violence.
Out on strike now for 93 days, SAG-AFTRA saw renewed talks with the studios and streamers that started on October 2 suspended on by the studios and streamers on October 11. In the early hours of October 12, the Fran Drescher-led guild accused the AMPTP of using “bully tactics” and “the same failed strategy they tried to inflict on the WGA” to get its way in the search for a new contract. No new talks between the parties are scheduled.