Actress Susan Sarandon, who has won an Academy Award, was released by the United Talent Agency after facing backlash for comments she made at a pro-Palestinian rally.
An agency spokesperson, Richard Siklos, confirmed on Tuesday that Sarandon was no longer represented by the agency, but declined to provide further details. Efforts to reach Sarandon for comment were unsuccessful. Her separation from the agency was first reported by The New York Post.
Sarandon’s remarks at a rally in New York City led to her being dropped by the agency.
At the rally, she stated, “There are a lot of people that are afraid, afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence,” and called for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, according to a video published by The Post.
Her comments were criticized on social media, with a former speechwriter for Israel’s delegation to the United Nations interpreting her remarks as implying that Jews “have it coming — that we don’t deserve to live free from harassment and assault.” The Post labeled her remarks as an “anti-Jewish rant” in a headline.
Sarandon defended her stance at the rally, stating that being critical of Israel should not be considered antisemitic. She emphasized that she is against antisemitism and Islamophobia.
In light of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, there has been an increase in antisemitic crimes in New York City, according to the police department. On that day, Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to many fatalities and hostages, as reported by the Israeli government. The Israeli counteroffensive has resulted in a high number of Palestinian casualties, including children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
Sarandon, a five-time Academy Award nominee and winner for best actress in “Dead Man Walking” (1995), has been involved in projects like “Bull Durham,” “Thelma & Louise,” and the latest DC Comics movie, “Blue Beetle.” Her political activism has been well-known.
The Israel-Hamas conflict has caused division in Hollywood in recent weeks. Some Jewish writers expressed anger over their union’s delayed condemnation of Hamas. A prominent agent at Creative Artists Agency posted and then removed messages accusing Israel of “genocide” and later resigned from an internal leadership position at the company. This agent, Maha Dakhil, was subsequently dropped by her client Aaron Sorkin, who stated, “Maha isn’t an antisemite, she’s just wrong.”