UPDATED with campaign launch: Many of the Hollywood A-listers who earlier this month signed a letter calling for the release of Israeli hostages taken during an attack by Hamas have launched a campaign, #ReleaseTheHostagesNow, to raise awareness of the urgent issue.
The coalition, spearheaded by letter organizer Creative Community For Peace, former CBS boss Nina Tassler and Sipur Studios CEO Emilio Schenker, used their social media platforms to raise the profile of the 239 hostages still being held.
Participants included Helen Mirren, Michael Douglas, Billy Crystal, Amy Schumer, Debra Messing, Julianna Margulies, Mayim Bialik, Mandy Moore, Chelsea Handler, Sharon Osbourne, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Jerry O’Connell, Joshua Malina, Alyssa Milano, Chuck Norris, Phil Rosenthal, Dr. Phil, Dean Cain, Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Peck, Juliette Lewis, Howie Mandel, Marg Helgenberger, Brooklyn and Nicola Peltz Beckham, and Constance Zimmer.
“This urgent campaign underscores the need for the international community to put pressure on the states that have influence with Hamas to free these individuals from captivity,” Bialik said in the release announcing the initiative. “It is vital that the world does not forget the faces of these innocent victims – they are the reason Israel continues to fight this war on terror and they are the reason the world must take a stand against this hatred and say NO MORE.”
PREVIOUSLY, October 12: A letter signed by more than 1,000 members of the Hollywood community is calling for the release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas as part of their attacks on Israel.
Names including Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Michael Douglas, Greg Berlanti, Mayim Bialik, Gail Berman, Jerry Seinfeld, Jamie Lee Curtis, Antoine Fuqua, Bryan Freedman, Mark Hamill, Jenji Kohan, Howie Mandel, Sherry Lansing, Ziggy Marley, Debra Messing, Liev Schreiber, Amy Schumer and John Landgraf are among the swath of names among the signatories of the letter, which appeared on the website for the Creative Community for Peace.
The letter strongly denounced the “nightmare that Israelis have feared for decades,” and “calls on our friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry to speak out forcefully against Hamas and do whatever is in their power to urge the terrorist organization to return the innocent hostages to their families.”
“My heart is aching for the lives lost and families shattered,” Gadot said in a statement. “I’m praying for everyone who has been affected by Hamas’ terrorism and brutality. And I hope that the world remains steadfast in their support of the Israeli people.”
The letter comes as Hollywood companies have began speaking out on the attacks, in which more than 1,300 have been killed to date and thousands more injured.
Earlier Thursday, a group of entertainment executives and producers teamed on a statement condemning the attacks. Several, including Haim Saban, Gary Barber, Ynon Kreiz and Rick Yorn, also signed the Creative Community for Peace letter.
“In the aftermath of the barbaric killing of more than 1,200 Israelis, we in the Hollywood community and around the world must stand with Israel as it defends itself against a terrorist regime in Gaza that seeks Israel’s destruction,” Saban said.
Read the new letter below and the full list of signatories here.
The nightmare that Israelis have feared for decades became a reality as Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israeli cities and towns.
Under the cover of thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately into civilian populations, Hamas murdered and kidnapped innocent men, women, and children. They kidnapped and murdered infants and the elderly. They raped women and mutilated their bodies. They paraded their bodies through the streets and on social media, and cowardly attacked the Supernova Music Festival – bringing death and destruction to an event celebrating friendship and love.
This is terrorism. This is evil. There is no justification or rationalization for Hamas’ actions. These are barbaric acts of terrorism that must be called out by everyone. They are a terrorist organization whose leaders call for the murder of Jews everywhere.
CCFP calls on our friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry to speak out forcefully against Hamas and do whatever is in their power to urge the terrorist organization to return the innocent hostages to their families.
As Israel takes the necessary steps to defend its citizens in the coming days and weeks, social media will be overrun by an orchestrated misinformation campaign spearheaded by Iran. We urge everyone to remember the horrific images that came out of Israel and to not amplify or fall for their propaganda.
Our thoughts are with all those experiencing unfathomable levels of fear and violence, and we hope for the day when Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace.