Sacha Baron Cohen Signs Open Letter
Noted Hollywood comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen is one of many signatories of an open letter expressing disappointment over the silence of the WGA in the Israel-Palestine conflict. AFP / VALERIE MACON

Select members of the Writers Guild of America called out its guild leaders for not speaking in support of Israel at the height of the conflict in Gaza.

A handful of members expressed disappointment after their fellow major Hollywood guilds like the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Directors Guild of America denounced the ongoing violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In a letter published to the literary web platform Medium yesterday, writers such as Sacha Baron-Cohen, Josh Gad, Eli Roth, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Chozick, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Ellen Rapoport and Sarah Treem, criticised the lack of a statement behind the Gaza Crisis.

The writers then proceeded to condemn the terrorist attacks inflicted on Israel by the Palestine militant group Hamas. The letter reads: "The crimes committed on October 7th were simple and cruel. If we cannot stand up to call it what it is — a monstrous act of barbarity — then we have lost the plot."

It was also cited by the signed members that the guild's silence was uncharacteristic of the organisation, especially when it came to sensitive issues.

According to the letter: "When it comes to taking a stand, the Writers Guild of America has always led by example. When employers sought to exploit our work, the Guild bravely spoke up. When the BLM movement took flight, the Guild rightfully spoke up. When the #MeToo reckoning came and Hollywood needed to change, again the Guild spoke up."

The collective also stressed that the letter was signed "as individuals, apart from our union, but united in our shared humanity and duty to denounce evil where we see it".

Hollywood on the conflict in Gaza

The letter from the Hollywood scribes comes after yet another letter signed by over 700 celebrities and producers last week. Some of the biggest personalities in the movie industry signed the letter in support of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, some of which include Gal Gadot, Mayim Bialik, Chris Pine, Liev Schrieber, Michael Douglas, Jamie Lee Curtis and Amy Schumer.

WGA members Jerry Seinfeld and Jenji Kohan also signed this letter apart from the aforementioned letter that criticised the WGA's silence.

Among Hollywood producers, signatories included Haim Saban, Greg Berlanti and Antoine Fuqua condemned Hamas' attacks against the Jewish settler state.

However, there are also celebrities who voiced their support for Palestine's freedom.

The most notable response came from the half-Palestinian model Gigi Hadid. A known socialite among Hollywood circles, Hadid posted on Instagram that supporting the freedom of Palestinians does not equate to anti-Semitism and that supporting Palestine in the conflict is not the same as supporting Hamas.

She further stressed her stand by saying: "There is nothing Jewish about the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians."

The strong response from Hadid drew the attention of Israel's official Instagram page.

In response to the model, Israel's social media platform posted a photo of bleeding children with toys with the caption: "Have you been sleeping this past week? Or are you just fine turning a blind eye to Jewish babies being butchered in their homes? Your silence has been very clear about where you stand. We see you."