Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are reportedly facing a serious backlash from top Hollywood executives following their support for Gaza, which saw the couple sign an open letter condemning the actions of Israel as tantamount to "genocide".
The couple were among 100 film professionals to sign the open Spanish letter calling on the European Union to end Israel’s military operation in Gaza, along with director Pedro Almodovar in July.
But their actions have sparked anger in top Hollywood executives, which has reportedly called their careers in to question. One top exec told the Hollywood Reporter that he was "furious at Javier and Penelope" and queried whether he would want to work with the couple again.
Ms Cruz’s subsequent clarification of the letter, in which she said her "only wish and intention" in signing it was to promote "peace in both Israel and Gaza," was knocked by another top exec, who said the actresses later comments were met with "a collective eye roll".
The famous on Israel-Gaza
The famous on Israel-Gaza
1/21 Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem
Oscar-winning married actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem signed an open letter accused Israel of "genocide". They said: "Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air'.
2/21 Zayn Malik
The One Direction singer was bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine to his 13 million followers. The tweet collected over 130,000 retweets, but it soon became apparent that not everyone agreed with his opinion.
3/21 Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow, the actress and Unicef ambassador, said on Twitter: 'We can passionately protest Israel's assault upon Gaza without descending, even remotely, into the hideousness of anti-Semitism'.
4/21 Katy Perry
Way back in 2011, Katy Perry faced a slew of angry responses from Palestinians and their supporters after she tweeted to her fans, asking them to 'Pray for Israel'.
ABC via Getty
5/21 Massive Attack
Massive Attack spoke of their ‘love and commitment’ to supporting the plight of young Palestinian refugees after the band visited the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon.
6/21 Selena Gomez
The former Disney child star caused a stir when she posted an image on her Instagram account than began: 'It's about humanity. Pray for Gaza.' Joan Rivers responded to the TMZ celebrity news website: 'Oh, Selena Gomez, yeah, that college grad. Well if Selena said that...let’s see if she can spell Palestinian'.
7/21 Russell Brand
Russell Brand is currently caught up in an entertaining spat with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. Brand uploaded a video where he accused Hannity of terrorism after his agressive behaviour in an Israel-Gaza debate. Hannity, who is famously right-wing and pro-Israel, asked Yousef Munayyer if he was 'thick in the head'.
Rihanna tweeted, then deleted, the hashtag #FreePalestine after eight minutes. She claimed its publication was an accident.
9/21 John Legend
The singer waded into the debate on Twitter when he wrote: 'So sick watching our Secretary of State have to grovel so hard to tell Israel how much he loves them while Israeli cabinet shits on him'.
10/21 Bar Refaeli
Leonardo DiCaprio's former girlfriend added to the debate when she posted a quote on her Instagram account, which she attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately it was actually taken from a Lincoln figure encountered by Captain Kirk and Spock in Star Trek, season three, episode 22.
11/21 Bill Maher
Bill Maher received a storm of criticism after he compared Hamas to a 'crazy woman trying to kill you'. 'You can only hold her wrists for so long before you have to slap her,' he tweeted.
12/21 Jon Voight
The actor and father of Angelina Jolie unleashed a rant on Fox News. Reading from a script, he criticised Obama’s actions over the current unrest in Israel and Gaza.
13/21 Joey Barton
Despite already getting into a dispute with Yossi Benayoun over comments on the Israel-Gaza conflict: Joey Barton has continued to deplore the violence in Gaza, tweeting the hashtag '#stopisraelkillinginnocents'.
14/21 Howard Stern
When a caller attempted to blame Israel for the war with Hamas last week, SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern told him to'“F*** off!' before launching into an impassioned defense of Israel, saying: “If you’re anti-Israel, then you’re anti-America”.
15/21 Wonder Woman
Otherwise known as Gal Gadot: the Israeli actress took to Instagram, writing: 'I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children'.
16/21 Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan was branded 'Zionest scum' for his stream of tweets about the Israel-Gaza conflict. He declared various opinions such as 'I like Jews. I like Arabs' and 'Same nonsense made Northern Ireland a murderous tinderbox for 30 years'.
17/21 Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers didn't hold back when she was interviewed by TMZ; likening Israel's position to that of New York if it was attacked by New Jersey. Asked where she thought civilians caught up in the crossfire were supposed to go, she replied: 'I don't care, they started'.
18/21 Dwight Howard
NBA star Dwight Howard 'did a Rihanna' - tweeting '#FreePalestine' before quickly deleting it and spending the rest of the day apologizing for the 'mistake'.
19/21 Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Nicole Kidman uploaded a short video to her Facebook page, featuring Keith Urban with their daughters Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret, captioned: 'Keith, the girls and I are joining Reba McEntire to #PrayForPeace. xxNic'.
20/21 Simon Cowell
X Factor boss pledged almost £100,000 to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills in 2012. The gala brought in more than £12million for the organisation, which helps to provide welfare services for IDF soldiers and their bereaved families. So far, however, he has only commented on the conflict to say that he is "praying for peace".
21/21 Brian Eno
Musician and producer Brian Eno condemned the Israeli action in Gaza as 'ethnic cleansing' in an open letter on David Byrne's website.
Ryan Kavanaugh, chief executive of Relativity Media, told the magazine that the initial letter "makes my blood boil".
"As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I know that anyone calling what’s going on in Israel 'genocide' versus self-defence is either ignorant and shouldn’t be commenting, or is truly anti-Semitic," he added.
Mr Kavanaugh claimed that in the 24 hours after making these comments earlier in the week, he had received more than 500 calls, emails and texts of support, including messages from high-ranking industry executives.
Many of Hollywood’s actors have thrown in their two-penneth on the subject, with Jon Voight writing his own open letter declaring that Ms Cruz and Mr Bardem should "hang your heads in shame" for adding to the "fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world".
Despite his condemnation of the pair, Mr Voight does not believe the couple’s careers should suffer, saying: "Don’t create a blacklist."
Similarly, one industry executive said the Hollywood couple’s actions did not reach the "Mel Gibson threshold," referencing the widespread public outrage that erupted after Mr Gibson was caught making an anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested in 2006.
One producer who has previously worked with Ms Cruz, told the magazine that he privately vowed never to work with the actress again.
Video: Gaza resident - 'Israel's goal is to kill religion'
But another producer said the issue should not affect the couple’s careers: "I think the thing any executive or producer will try to calculate before working with Penelope Cruz or Javier Bardem in the near future is what their value is in the all-important international marketplace, and what territories they might have alienated people in by what they said.
"It might not be that many. But it’s really all about business," they added.
Both Ms Cruz and Mr Bardem’s representatives declined to comment.Reuse content