Los Angeles, Dec 2 (IANS): A collective of 1,300 artistes have signed an open letter accusing cultural institutions across Western countries of "repressing, silencing and stigmatising Palestinian voices and perspectives."
Famous faces signed the letter including Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman, Olivier Award winners Harriet Walter and Juliet Stevenson, BAFTA winning ‘Sex Education’ actress Aimee Lou Wood, ‘The Crown’ actress Amir El-Masry and ‘Bridgerton’ star Nicola Coughlan, reports Mirror.co.uk.
Artistes for Palestine UK published a letter addressing the Arts and Culture Sector urging them to "uphold the right to freedom of expression and to uphold their commitment to anti-discrimination", following actress Melissa Barrera being fired from ‘Scream 7’ after expressing solidarity with Palestinian people on her personal social media channels.
As per Mirror.co.uk, last month, Barrera, 33, was dropped from the iconic horror franchise after ‘Scream 7’ production company, Spyglass Media, claimed the star’s Instagram posts about the Israel-Hamas war crossed "the line into hate speech". ‘Wednesday’ actress Jenna Ortega, who has also expressed solidarity with Palestine, ended her involvement with the upcoming ‘Scream’ installment shortly after Barrera was fired.
The letter by Artists for Palestine UK claims Western countries are "repressing, silencing and stigmatising Palestinian voices and perspectives", which they say includes "targeting and threatening the livelihoods of artists and arts workers who express solidarity with Palestinians, as well as cancelling performances, screenings, talks, exhibitions and book launches”.
"Despite this pressure, artists in their thousands are following their conscience and continuing to speak out. Freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Human Rights Act and the European Convention of Human Rights is the backbone of our creative lives, and fundamental to democracy," the letter notes.
In addition to Barrero's forced exit from the ‘Scream’ franchise, Artistes for Palestine UK cites other examples of censorship, including Lisson Gallery’s ‘postponement’ of a London exhibition by Ai Weiwei; Folkwang Museum in Essen’s last minute cancellation of curator Anais Duplan’s Afrofuturism exhibition, and the Saarland Museum’s cancellation of a solo exhibition of artist Candice Brietz, both in Germany.