In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on October 7, celebrities like Kylie Jenner shared messages of support on social media for the Israeli victims. It didn’t take long for the billionaire reality star to delete the post due to backlash from her anti-Israel followers.
Some two weeks later, others in Hollywood have seemingly found their voice. Late last week, some 57 stars (and counting) lent their name to a letter calling for a ceasefire, while Dave Chappelle reportedly faced walkouts at a show in Boston for criticizing the Jewish State.
On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Rich Lowry and Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review to discuss Hollywood’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.
The Chappelle Show
There are reports that audience members walked out of comedian Dave Chappelle’s show in Boston on Thursday after he criticized Israel’s bombing of Gaza and said students supporting Palestine shouldn’t be punished for it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Chappelle initially condemned the events of October 7 but he went on to call Israeli actions in Gaza “war crimes” and said students shouldn’t lose their jobs for supporting Hamas.
Some in the audience reportedly shouted “Free Palestine,” in support of Chappelle’s comments while others asked “What about Hamas?” At one point, someone in the crowd allegedly yelled “Shut up” at Chappelle before walking out, which led to additional comments.
Daily Mail quoted one audience member who shared on social media that they left mid-show with their friends and wife. “We walked out and met up with many other Jews leaving the show,” the person said. “Never in my life have I felt so unsafe and so fearful of what I was witnessing.”
In an interesting twist, a spokeswoman for Chappelle told the WSJ that the comedian denied being in the city even though the shows at the TD Garden in Boston were advertised on the venue’s website.
As Lowry pointed out, it is unclear exactly what Chappelle said on stage. Even so, he is surprised at how quickly the anti-Israel narrative has emerged. “We all knew this reaction would come, but what’s amazing is it started really in some serious force prior to ground invasion,” he said. “The tanks haven’t even rolled… and we already have people saying Israel has gone too far.”
Hollywood Weighs In
Meanwhile, the organization Artists 4 Ceasefire published an open letter to President Joe Biden last week that urged the United States and other world leaders to put an end to the conflict in Israel and Gaza. “We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine,” it reads, in part. “We ask that, as President of the United States, you call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost.”
As of Friday, the letter was signed by some 57 celebrities, including “Alyssa Milano, Jon Stewart, Wanda Sykes, Joaquin Phoenix, Sandra Oh, Cate Blanchett, Rosario Dawson, Margaret Cho, Jessica Chastain, Channing Tatum, and a bunch of other people I never heard of,” Megyn said. “They signed a letter demanding a ceasefire right now because I’m sure Alyssa Milano is very versed in mideast policy and really wants a ceasefire.”
Cooke said the letter proves the self-righteousness of celebrity culture is very much alive and well. “They think we should care about what they think… [but] there is no particular moral weight attached to being a comedian or an actress or a musician,” he said. “You just don’t have any special role to play within this debate, and yet the sanctimony and the self-regard in the letter… is astonishing.”
Unlike, Jewish actors like Jerry Seinfeld and Gal Gadot who signed a pro-Israel letter created by the nonprofit Creative Community for Peace earlier this month, Megyn said many of the celebs supporting a ceasefire lack a connection to the situation. “Jerry Seinfeld… and some other Jewish supporters put out a statement… [because they’ve] got a vested stake,” Megyn concluded. “But Alyssa Milano, there’s no vested anything – she just fancies herself an activist on these things and she likes to see her name in the paper.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Cooke and Lowry by tuning in to episode 653 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.