(February 2, 2021 / Jewish Journal)
More than 170 entertainment industry leaders released a unity statement on Feb. 1 after launching the emitism.(BJEA), a joint initiative by black and Jewish entertainment industry professionals devoted to countering racism and anti-S
In the face of institutional racism and rising anti-Semitism, members of the alliance feel it is critical to stand together and support one another.
Signatories of the statement include Billy Porter, Mayim Bialik, Jeremy Piven, Sharon Osbourne, Tiffany Haddish, Nick Cannon, Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”), co-chairman and CEO of Warner Records Aaron Bay-Schuck, director-producer Antoine Fuqua, Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam, Columbia Records CEO/chairman Ron Perry, Dulé Hill, the late Larry King, Gene Simmons, Pittsburgh Steeler Zach Banner and Jeff Ross, among many others.
“The black and Jewish communities, who have a long history of supporting and working together, are so much stronger when we stand together in the fight against hate,” said Bay-Schuck. “This alliance will elevate voices in the entertainment community that can help the public to better understand the causes, manifestations and effects of racism and anti-Semitism, ensuring that our industry is doing its part to be a voice for hope, unity and healing in our country.”
While many organizations combat anti-Semitism and racism individually, the alliance will aim to create a unified voice against both. It will host programming to highlight their common mission to fight hate and facilitate collaborative events to build solidarity between the black and Jewish communities. They will also work to elevate voices within the entertainment community to help the public better understand the causes, manifestations and effects of institutional racism and anti-Semitism.
The unity statement starts by acknowledging the “subjugation and persecution” that both black and Jewish Americans continue to face daily in the United States and promises to condemn hate.
“As members of the entertainment community, we stand against all forms of hate, and pledge to work to bring our two communities together in solidarity, to support one another in our struggles, and to better understand each other’s plight and narratives,” the pledge reads.
The statement also references the partnership between Martin Luther King Jr., Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel “and the many blacks and Jews who stood together in the fight for civil rights. … The Jewish community must continue to speak out against racial injustice and work to effect change, while the black community must continue to speak out against all forms of anti-Semitism.”
Director and producer Antoine Fuqua said in a statement to the Jewish Journal that “film and art have always been about giving those unjustly attacked and marginalized a voice. As two communities that have long been targeted simply for who they are, the black and Jewish communities are stronger when we stand together.”
Fuqua added that “it is thus incumbent on us, as members of the entertainment community, to continue to be united in the face of hateful discrimination and be a positive voice for change.”
This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.
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