Renowned actress Susan Sarandon has found herself in the midst of controversy after being dropped by her long-time talent agency, UTA, due to her contentious statements regarding Jews. The actress, spotted in New York City recently, had sparked outrage during a pro-Palestine protest on November 17, where she suggested that frightened Jews were “getting a taste of how it feels to be Muslim in America,” referencing the escalating antisemitism since the conflict began on October 7.
The fallout from Sarandon’s remarks has extended beyond the Jewish community, with American Muslims expressing their discontent and advising her to visit a Muslim country to gain perspective on the advantages of living in the United States. Despite the backlash, Sarandon has not responded and was seen stepping out wearing the same attire as when she made the controversial comments.
Among those critical of Sarandon is Asra Nomani, a Pakistani refugee, who took to Twitter to share the freedoms she and her parents enjoy in the U.S. Nomani highlighted the opportunities her family had, emphasizing that being Muslim in America provided her father the chance to become a full professor and her mother the freedom to live life on her terms.
The situation has drawn parallels to historical figures like Jane Fonda, nicknamed “Hanoi Jane” for her actions during the Vietnam War, with critics dubbing Sarandon “Gaza Susan.” The controversy intensifies as Sarandon faces accusations of supporting Hamas, with detractors pointing to recent events, such as the reported killing of an elderly Israeli, allegedly kidnapped by the group.
The U.S. has witnessed a surge in both antisemitism and Islamophobia since the October 7 attack and subsequent conflict. Public protests, predominantly in favor of Palestine, have included instances of antisemitic signage, raising concerns about the escalation of hate crimes. A neo-Nazi rally in Wisconsin displayed swastika flags, underlining the disturbing rise in extremist sentiments.
Amidst the alarming atmosphere, Sarandon is yet to address the growing backlash to her remarks, leaving her future in the entertainment industry uncertain. The incident underscores the challenges of navigating sensitive geopolitical issues in the public eye and the broader societal implications of inflammatory statements during times of conflict.
Derek Chan – Editor