Hollywood icon Susan Sarandon and In The Heights actress Melissa Barrera are receiving backlash for making controversial comments amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
On Tuesday, Sarandon, 77, was dropped by United Talent Agency while Barrera, 33, was cut from the upcoming Scream sequel, which she was set to star in for their use of language deemed as anti-semitic.
During a recent pro-Palestine rally in New York City, the Thelma and Louise star called for a cease-fire in the Middle East and made comments that many perceived as directing hate towards Jews.
“There are a lot of people that are afraid, that are afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country,” Sarandon said during the rally, first reported by the New York Post.
Sarandon’s comments immediately sparked anger from critics online who called her out and demanded she face consequences.
“When Susan Sarandon said that Jews ‘are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country,’ she was saying that American Jews have it coming — that we don’t deserve to live free from harassment and assault,” wrote Aviva Klompas, co-founder of the pro-Israel nonprofit Boundless Israel, in a post on social media platform X.
During the rally, Sarandon repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza while stating that “you don’t have to go through the entire history of that region, you just have to show the babies that are dying in incubators. Those images are enough to show you that something is drastically wrong. We need a ceasefire now.”
In a statement to ET, a rep for United Talent Agency confirmed Sarandon is “no longer a client,” following her remarks.
For her part, Barrera — who has appeared as Samantha Carpenter in 2022’s Scream and Scream 6 — has spent the past month and a half advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza and calling out the Israeli government for what she and others have labeled a “genocide” of Palestinian people.
Spyglass, the production company behind the horror movies Barrera stars in, quietly dropped her from the film, purportedly in connection to her posts in which she referred to Gaza as a “colonized country.”
In October, Barrera posted on her Story a sign that read “I too come from a colonized country: alongside the Mexican flag logo. “Palestine WILL be free” it continued with an italicized quote: “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.”
The actress has also been accused of regurgitating anti-semitic tropes about those of the Jewish faith running Hollywood.
“Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself,” she wrote in one post on the social media platform.
ET has reached out to Paramount — the distributor of the Scream films — and Spyglass, both declined to comment.
In another post that caused an uproar, Barrera wrote: “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp. Cornering everyone together, with nowhere to go, no electricity no water … People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING.”
A comprehensive look at many of Barrera’s posts about the ongoing conflict was documented in screenshots posted to X, featured below.
During Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, some 1,200 Israelis were killed and 240 citizens were taken hostage. In response, the Israeli government retaliated by launching coordinated attacks and bombings in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 11,000 people. It’s unclear what percentage of that number is civilians as opposed to fighters, however, most are believed to be women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a ceasefire in a statement while discussing the death toll in the region.
“This war is having a staggering and unacceptable number of civilian casualties, including women and children, every day,” Guterres said. “This must stop. I reiterate my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”
According to NBC News, Hamas and Israel on Tuesday reached a proposed deal to allow Red Cross access to many of the remaining hostages in Gaza. The deal would see the exchange of 150 Palestinian prisoners for 50 women and children.