Hollywood talent agency UTA has severed ties with Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon following her controversial remarks at a pro-Palestinian rally, where she compared the recent spike in antisemitism to the experiences of Muslims in the United States.Sarandon's comments, made during a rally in New York City last week, sparked widespread criticism, with many accusing her of minimizing the severity of antisemitism and downplaying the suffering of Muslims in non-Western countries.
In a statement to Deadline, a UTA spokesperson confirmed the agency's decision to drop Sarandon as a client. "We have ended our representation of Susan Sarandon," the statement read.
The actress's remarks, which drew ire online, included the following: "There are a lot of people that are afraid, afraid to be Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence."
Her comments prompted a response from author Asra Nomani, who is Indian American and has Muslim heritage. Nomani took to Twitter to criticize Sarandon, writing: "Let me give you 'a taste' of what it 'feels like' to be a Muslim in America: My dad didn't have to become a second-class indentured servant to one of the many tyrants of Muslim countries... My mom?… Being Muslim in America meant she got to live FREE with the wind in her hair...You think the Muslim dictatorship of Qatar allows a pathway to citizenship for Muslim slaves, servants or Palestinian Muslims? Hell no..."
Nomani further urged Sarandon to "Please don't minimize the experience of Jewish Americans by sanitizing the hell that it is for Muslims living in Muslim countries and vilifying America for the life — and freedoms — she offers Muslims like my family."
Sarandon's remarks at the rally were not her first instance of expressing strong views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Throughout the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, she has been a vocal critic of Israel, sharing accusations of genocide and war crimes, denying elements of Hamas's onslaught, and downplaying the scope of antisemitism.
Her comments on antisemitism have drawn particular criticism, with many accusing her of conflating anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Sarandon has maintained that her criticism of Israel is not antisemitic, emphasizing her opposition to both antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Despite her claims, Sarandon's remarks have been widely condemned by Jewish organizations and individuals, who view them as insensitive and minimizing the ongoing struggle against antisemitism.
UTA's decision to drop Sarandon as a client underscores the sensitivity of the issue and the potential fallout from making controversial statements about antisemitism and Israel.