Hollywood Star Quits Over Writers Guild’s Silence on Conflict

Source: Jemal Countess

Worldwide events have greater impact than the mere event itself. Global events have not only political and economical, but social implications as well. People take sides of where they stand with the issue, and those opinions, when made public, can have incredible far-reaching affects on people’s lives and careers.

The Latest Rift

The war between Israel and Hamas is merely the latest of such major events that can cause a social rift. The October 7 attack from Hamas has had far-reaching consequences, as well as driven a significant wedge between different social, political, and generational factions.

Source: Wikimedia/Dr. Zachi Evenor

It’s understandable as to why. There are many who believe that Israel, in their existence as a country, is an apartheid state over Palestine. The land which Israel resides on has a great deal of significance and history towards Muslims, Jews, and Christians, and it is this significance that has led to nearly a century of fighting over the land.

Back to the 40’s

The Israel-Palestine conflict goes back to 1948. After World War 2, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine triggered the 1948 Palestine War, which saw the expulsion of most Palestinian Arabs from the area, as well as the establishment of Israel on the majority of the territory.

Source: Wikimedia/Rudi Weissenstein

Control of the Gaza Strip was taken by Egypt and Jordan, respectively, but this control didn’t last long. In 1967, the Six Day War took place, and resulted in Israel occupying not only the West Bank, but the Gaza strip as well. These became known as the Palestinian territories, with the rest of the occupied area belonging to Israel.

Efforts to Reclaim Territory

In the years since, there have been many efforts on the part of Palestine to reclaim the territory that Israel resides on. There have been attempts to resolve the conflict through various peace solutions, including a two-state solution where Israel and Palestine both coexist in harmony, but none of the efforts have prevailed yet.

Source: Wikimedia/Berthold Werner

Public support for the two-state solution has dwindled in recent years, though. The installation of Hamas to the leadership of Palestine in 2006 has created more tension between Israel and Palestine, which is split between Fatah leadership in the West Bank and Hamas leadership on the Gaza Strip.

Five Wars in 17 Years

Since 2006, Hamas and Israel have fought five wars. The most recent episode of the war between the two territories was started with the October 7 attack from Hamas, and is the most significant military escalation in the region since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Source: Wikimedia/רון קישנבסקי

The escalation of the violence on the part of Hamas has led to the issue being brought to attention on a global scale. Prior to the attack on Israel in October, the conflict between the two countries was much quieter and lesser known among many people. The attack has brought the issue into the broader social sphere, though, and has led to many people educating themselves on the Middle Eastern conflict in a new way.

Who is Truly at Fault?

This new knowledge has led to debate over who is truly at fault in this conflict. Hamas attacked Israel first, this is a fact that cannot be disputed. But there are many who believe that Israel, by the fact of its existence, deserve the war that Hamas has waged on it.

Source: Wikimedia/Efib007

Many younger Americans, as well as far left liberals, believe that the apartheid state that Israel has been accused of perpetuating justifies the war from Palestine. Their support comes from the belief that Palestine is merely asserting its independence, and that Israel is the aggressor with financial support from western nations.

Significant Social Fracturing

This has led to significant social disruption, regarding the war. While the majority of Congress and Americans support Israel, the loud minority support of Palestine has caused unforeseen consequences.

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

There are many Americans who have suffered both social and economic consequences for their support of Palestine. Actors who have voiced vocal support of Palestine have found themselves reprimanded by their studios, social media influencers who have been vocal have had their accounts shadowbanned or banned altogether, and individuals have found themselves ostracized from their social groups due to the conflict between ideologies.

Fracturing in Hollywood

On the other side of the coin, there are individuals who have chosen to end their relationships with people and organizations who have failed to vocalize their support of Israel. This has been seen across industries, and Hollywood is no exception.

Source: Wikimedia/Gnaphron

Most recently, renowned screenwriter Dan Gordon has announced that he will be ending his involvement with the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) due to the group’s failure to condemn the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. Gordon is known for his work on The Hurricane and Wyatt Earp, and accused the organization for being silent on the atrocities committed against Israel.

Veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces

Dan Gordon is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, the national military of Israel. Dan Gordon is not the only name in Hollywood who once served in the IDF. Gal Gadot, the actress that brought Wonder Woman alive in Batman v. Superman, also served in the IDF for two years after she graduated from high school.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Gordon has cited the guild’s refusal to condemn the Hamas attacks as the primary reason for his resignation. In a statement to the WGA West leadership, he expressed dismay over the organization’s silence, particularly in contrast to its previous vocal stances on social justice issues, such as Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement.

Weighing in on Israel

“We had no trouble, as we should not have had, weighing in after George Floy was killed. We had no problem, as we should not have had, weighing in on the #MeToo movement no one said at the time, ‘I don’t want to offend Bill Cosby,’” the statement reads

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

It continues, “And yet you’re witness to nothing less than the worst slaughter of Jews since Nazi Germany, and you can’t find a word to say to condemn it.” This comment is in relation not only to the attack of Israel, which has been perceived as wholly anti semitic, but also to the rise of antisemitism in the United States in the wake of the initial Hamas attack.

An Apology from the WGA

The WGA was quick to issue an apology to its members after the condemnation on Gordon’s part, stating that, as an organization, it was often slow to comment on global affairs. “We did not, for example, make a comment after Russia invaded Ukraine, nor on terrorist attacks in Somalia, Pakistan, or elsewhere.”

Source: Wikimedia/Amanda scott

“It can be an imprecise science for a labor union to pick and choose where it weighs in on both domestic and world affairs. We are American labor leaders, aware of our limitations and humbled by the magnitude of this conflict,” the statement reads.

A Message on Moral Conviction

Gordon’s resignation regarding the conflict is a strong indication of his moral conviction and belief regarding not only the Israel-Palestine conflict, but also his belief in the obligation of the Guild to address international tragedies.

Source: Wikimedia/Amos Meron

Gordon didn’t simply condemn the group with his statement. He elected “financial core” status with the WGA. This status means that he no longer has the ability to vote in WGA elections, participate in awards, or enjoy other membership benefits, though he will continue to work under the same economic terms as proper guild members.

Another Public Apology

Mounting pressure and criticism from other members of the guild as well as the public at large also motivated the WGA to release a lengthy apology. They explain that the organization drew a distinction between domestic social justice issues and international tragedies, which they have generally not discussed in the past.

Source: Wikimedia/Ynhockey

In spite of this apology, Gordon’s decision to resign has sparked a larger conversation in the entertainment industry. Since his resignation, more than 300 writers have signed an open letter condemning the attacks, and further criticizing the WGA’s silence on the matter.

The Complexity of Addressing Conflict

The controversy surrounding Israel has highlighted the complexities of addressing international conflicts in a labor union. Not only that, though, it has also prompted discussions about the moral responsibilities of industry figures in the face of global tragedies. Politicians are one thing, but what is the obligation of public figures such as actors and directors regarding morally complex global issues?

Source: Wikimedia/Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών

The ramifications of taking a moral and political stand are clear, and underscores the far-reaching impact of global events. The entertainment industry is an important one, especially in America, one that bears the heavy weight of accepting moral responsibility in the face of mistakes made around controversy.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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