UTA’s Jeremy Zimmer Joins Calls For Boycott Of Kanye West, Citing Rise Of Anti-Semitism
Jeremy Zimmer, co-founder and CEO of United Talent Agency, is the latest prominent Hollywood figure to speak out against Kanye West’s controversial claims of alleged mistreatment by Jewish people, which he has been doubling down on in media interviews.
Zimmer addressed the subject Sunday In an email to the agency staff titled “Rise of Anti Semitism and Hate”, a copy of which was obtained by Deadline. In it, Zimmer speaks about West’s comments and the wave of anti-Semitism that has followed, from banners in his support hung over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles to anti-Semitic flyers distributed around Los Angeles neighborhoods.
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Zimmer listed the banners, the flyers as well as the recent the endorsement by Wellesley College’s student newspaper of the controversial Boston “Mapping Project” as behaviors that “ignite the embers of bigotry, and they must not be tolerated.”
“As a company we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas. But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-semitism,” he wrote. “Please support the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful.”
Zimmer’s comments follow Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel’s op-ed in the Financial Times earlier this week, in which he called on companies to stop doing businesses with West. Since then, West has been dropped by one of his top business partners, fashion powerhouse Balenciaga.
Here is Zimmer’s note:
I’m saddened to write that once again we’re seeing a surge in anti-Semitism in our communities, fueled by Kanye’s comments and a resulting in an incident in Los Angeles yesterday where hateful banners were placed over the 405 freeway.
Regrettably, anti-Semitism, racism and many forms of hate and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. Generally, they live as a plague eroding the health of communities and are combatted by understanding, tolerance and the general goodness of most people.
But throughout history some have used their public platform to spew the plague out loud and spread the contagion to dangerous effect. Kanye is the latest to do so, and we’re seeing how his words embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs. I’ve also seen copies of horribly anti-Semitic flyers left this weekend on the doorsteps of homes in LA neighborhoods, showing that the 405 banners are not the end of it.
Equally worrying is what is happening on college campuses, where concern and debate about Zionism becomes veiled anti-Semitism. Wellesley College recently has been at the epicenter of this dilemma. The Wellesley newspaper recently supported a mapping project showing the nearby Jewish owned businesses, and suggesting that they be boycotted. The assumption being that because they are owned by Jews, they must be anti-Palestine. This is the kind of dangerous thinking that can lead to inflaming anti-Semitism and hate, and there have been examples of it at other schools.
Whether it’s signs on the 405 in Los Angeles, flyers on doorsteps, mapping Jewish businesses in Boston, or marching with hoods and crosses, all of these behaviors ignite the embers of bigotry, and they must not be tolerated.
As a company we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas. But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things. Let’s not be lulled into thinking this time it’s different.
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