Yesterday, Spanish Oscar-winners Penelope Cruz, her husband Javier Bardem, and Pedro Almodovar signed a letter regarding the fighting currently taking place in the Gaza Strip, according to Deadline.
In the statement, Cruz, Bardem and Almodovar express outrage over “the genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army in the Gaza Strip against Palestinian civilians.”
That statement from Penelope and Javier was viewed, as you can imagine, as inflammatory. Movie stars clearly risk a lot when they speak out for or against polarizing topics. They risk offending executives in the industry, their fellow employees and the public.
According to sources, the letter from Cruz, Bardem, and Almodovar was written in Spanish and strongly worded, pulling no punches. (A version of the letter in its original Spanish can be found here on BDS.)
Experts who describe Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem as “classy, thoughtful” people were surprised at the statements, not for their content, but their controversy. Mel Gibson’s drunken, anti-semitic rants were rightfully criticized several years ago, but only recently, when — as reported by the Inquisitr — Gary Oldman described what Gibson did, he, too was chastised. Israel, Palestine, Jewish-American, and Muslim-American relations are a hornet’s nest when it comes to public comments.
Today, Penelope Cruz stepped up to the proverbial mic and attempted to “clarify” the statement Penelope and her husband signed only yesterday.
“I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I’m not an expert on the situation, and I’m aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border. I wish for unity, and peace.”
Penelope Cruz made no reference to her use of the term “genocide.”
Stars have a history of weighing in on controversial topics, despite the potential fallout. Jane Fonda spoke out against the Vietnam War before it was popular to do so. Sean Penn has taken up many causes, including his tireless work in Haiti, and spoke out — to wide criticism — in favor of Hugo Chavez, then President of Venezuela. Jim Carrey has spoken out in favor of gun control in the wake of each American mass-shooting. Jenny McCarthy, former Playboy model and host of The View, has given her opinions time and again on child vaccinations and their supposed link to autism.
When stars do speak out on controversial subjects, it’s usually because they believe deeply in a topic.
What do you think about Penelope Cruz’s comments, and her subsequent clarification?