Cruz And Bardem 'Face Hollywood Backlash'

Cruz And Bardem 'Face Hollywood Backlash'

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are reportedly facing a Hollywood backlash over their criticism of Israel's offensive in Gaza.

The couple, along with dozens of other Spanish film stars, directors and writers, signed an open letter which described the actions against Palestinians as "genocide".

The letter demanded a ceasefire by the military and urged Israel to lift the blockade in the Gaza Strip.

Following the comments, the pair were accused of being anti-Semitic.

One top producer who has worked with Cruz says he has vowed not to hire her again, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The publication also said another top Hollywood executive had expressed his disapproval, saying he was "furious at Javier and Penelope" and was not sure about working with the couple again.

So far, one studio boss, Relativity Media chief executive Ryan Kavanaugh, has gone public with his views.

He said: "As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I know that anyone calling what's going on in Israel 'genocide' vs self-defence is either ignorant and shouldn't be commenting or is truly anti-Semitic."

Kavanaugh reportedly said he received more than 500 calls, emails and texts of support in the 24 hours after his comments were published, including from high-ranking industry executives, suggesting the sentiment was widespread.

But he does not think the open letter will hurt either of their careers as long as they continue to have box office hits.

Another producer reportedly said: "I think the thing any executive or producer will try to calculate before working with Penelope Cruz or Javier Bardem in the near future is what their value is in the all-important international marketplace.

"And what territories they might have alienated people in by what they said. It might not be that many. But it's really all about business."

Cruz and Bardem later clarified their positions. She said: "I'm not an expert on the situation and I'm aware of the complexity of it."

And she said her "only wish and intention" in signing the letter was that there would be peace in Israel and Gaza.

Bardem said: "My signature was solely meant as a plea for peace. Destruction and hatred only generate more hatred and destruction.

"While I was critical of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses.

"I am now being labelled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife - which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings.

"We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war."

Among those who accused the pair of stoking anti-Semitism was actor Jon Voight.

He wrote: "I am more than angry, I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused."