Aaron Sorkin drops talent agency after agent’s Israel ‘genocide’ comments

‘The West Wing’ writer said that his agent ‘isn’t an antisemite, she’s just wrong’

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 25 October 2023 08:13 BST
Israel-Hamas: Plumes of smoke surround hospital in Gaza

Aaron Sorkin has dropped his talent agency, the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), over Israel-Hamas posts shared by his agent.

The writer behind The Social Network and The West Wing is returning to William Morris Endeavor (WME), who had represented him for years until his 2017 move to CAA. His move came in response to posts by his agent, Maha Dakhil.

Sorkin, 62, said in a statement: “Maha isn’t an antisemite, she’s just wrong. She’s a great agent and I’m very proud of the work we did together over the last six years. I’m excited to be returning to WME.”

On 18 October, Dakhil had reposted a statement from an account called Free Palestine, weighing in on Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack on 7 October. The post read: “You’re currently learning who supports genocide.”

Dakhil added in her caption: “That’s the line for me.” She then posted a second photo, with the words: “What’s more heartbreaking than witnessing genocide? Witnessing the denial that genocide is happening.” She later deleted both posts.

The agent, who represents stars such as Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon, then resigned from CAA’s internal board and withdrew from her role as co-head of the agency’s motion pictures department. She will continue to work with her clients, according to Variety, while “spending time in her personal education process”.

“I made a mistake with a repost in my Instagram story, which used hurtful language. Like so many of us, I have been reeling with heartbreak. I pride myself on being on the side of humanity and peace,” Dakhil said in a statement.

“I’m so grateful to Jewish friends and colleagues who pointed out the implications and further educated me. I immediately took the repost down. I’m sorry for the pain I have caused.”

Dakhil with Anne Hathaway last year

Dakhil, who arrived in the US from Syria as a child, was recently voted one of the most powerful women in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter.

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She is far from the only person in the entertainment industry speaking out on the conflict. Tilda Swinton, Steve Coogan and Miriam Margolyes are among more than 2,000 cultural figures who have signed a letter calling for a Gaza ceasefire.

Charles Dance, Maxine Peake and Peter Mullan are also named on the open letter, which accuses the UK government of “not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them” in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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