Hollywood couple Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have courted controversy with their signing of an open letter about the crisis in Gaza and are now being blacklisted by top Hollywood producers for their stance.
As more and more celebrities throw their opinions into the in ring regarding the situation in Gaza, we may be seeing the first real blowback based on a celebrity condemning Israel’s offensive in the strip. Penelope Cruz and husband Javier Bardem have apparently been blacklisted by several studios and producers for signing a Spanish open letter, also signed by director Pedro Almodovar, referring to Israel’s actions in Gaza “[a] genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army.”
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that an anonymous top producer who has worked with Cruz in the past is reconsidering whether he would be willing to work with the couple in the future. CEO of Hollywood studio Relativity Media, Ryan Kavanaugh openly stated that he believes that "anyone calling what's going on in Israel 'genocide' vs. self-defense is either ignorant and shouldn't be commenting, or is truly anti-Semitic."
However, some commentators have stated that they don’t believe that the controversy surrounding the letter will have any effect on the couple’s ability to find work. One anonymous producer said, "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." Since Cruz and Bardem are still major box office draws, it is unlikely that we have seen the last of them on the silver screen.