Oct 21, 2023 Comments Off on Emmanuelle Chriqui on Speaking Up Against Antisemitism in Hollywood
October 21, 2023 • Jennifer • Comments Off on Emmanuelle Chriqui on Speaking Up Against Antisemitism in Hollywood
Throughout my early life, being a Sephardic Jew was cool, even exotic. I never thought much about it. My friends accepted me, and when I came to Los Angeles, I was blessed with a wonderful career. I have played so many different nationalities, though never a Jew. I didn’t fit the stereotype of what a Jew looked like. My character in the television show “Entourage,” Sloan, was supposed to be half-Jewish, but I don’t think many people watching even knew that. Being Moroccan, though, I could play just about any other ethnic character.
Then two years ago, when the war erupted between Israel and Hamas in May 2021, antisemitism reared its ugly head on my social media feeds. I was truly faced with it for the first time. In the age of social media, antisemitic hate, conspiracy theories and misinformation were now rampant.
Throughout my career, I have publicly advocated on behalf of many causes. I am proud of this, and it has given my life a sense of meaning, to use the platform I was fortunate to have to help others.
Being an actor is very self-involved, so it felt good to give back and use my platform to amplify important causes and stand in solidarity with other persecuted groups. So, when Jews came under attack online and in the streets of Los Angeles and New York, I didn’t hesitate about advocating on behalf of my own people, but man, I was not ready for the backlash and absolute nastiness that ensued.
For the first time in my life, I understood what my parents meant. Many people in the world still hated Jews. But instead of retreating, instead of staying silent and avoiding the blowback, I got louder and prouder.
I never hid the fact that I was Jewish, but I took it a step further and started posting weekly about Shabbat. Not wanting to alienate anyone because I have incredible fans of all backgrounds, I posted about having a #happyfriday and #shabbatshalom. I made videos encouraging tolerance and speaking out against hate and injustice, including antisemitism.
Unfortunately, initially I noticed that speaking up against hate wasn’t always reciprocal. When it came to antisemitism, for some reason, Jews don’t always count. Hatred against Jews seemed up for debate.