Over 170 Black and Jewish leaders from all over the entertainment industry have banded together to launch the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance (BJEA), a joint initiative devoted to countering racism and antisemitism, and release a unity statement. Among them are several high-ranking music executives including Aaron Bay-Schuck, co-chairman and CEO of Warner Records (pictured at left); Ethiopia Habtemariam, president of Motown Records (center); Ron Perry, CEO/chairman of Columbia Records (right); Guy Oseary, founder of Maverick Management, and Sharon Osbourne.
Nick Cannon, who was at the center of of controversy last summer after comments he made on a podcast about the ancient history of Black people and Jews surfaced and were widely condemned as anti-Semitic, is also among the signatories. He’s soon to launch a syndicated daytime talk show that was originally set to premiere last September.
Others committed to “stand together and support one another” include Billy Porter, Jeremy Piven, Mekhi Phifer, Gene Simmons and Ben Silverman.
“The Black and Jewish communities, who have a long history of supporting and working together, are so much stronger when we stand together in the fight against hate,” said Bay-Schuck. “This Alliance will elevate voices in the entertainment community that can help the public to better understand the causes, manifestations, and effects of racism and antisemitism, ensuring that our industry is doing its part to be a voice for hope, unity, and healing in our country.”
Added director and producer Antoine Fuqua: “Film and art have always been about giving those unjustly attacked and marginalized a voice. As two communities that have long been targeted simply for who they are, the Black and Jewish communities are stronger when we stand together. It is thus incumbent on us, as members of the entertainment community, to continue to be united in the face of hateful discrimination and be a positive voice for change.”
“In the present climate of increased difficulties faced by both groups it is important to take a moment to celebrate the special relationship between members of the Black and Jewish community in the entertainment industry,” said Ben Silverman, chairman and CEO of Propagate Content. “The ongoing nature of systematic racism, the frightening rise of antisemitism and hate crimes has brought us to yet another period of crisis. We formed this Alliance to facilitate conversations and coordinate actions between Black and Jewish entertainment leaders on these issues.”
Read the BJEA unity statement below:
“We acknowledge that the Black and Jewish communities have a shared history of subjugation and persecution.
We recognize that the Black community in America has faced a history of racism that continues to this day, while the Jewish community is currently encountering record levels of antisemitism, which affects both group’s sense of fear, vulnerability, and self-worth.
As members of the entertainment community, we stand against all forms of hate, and pledge to work to bring our two communities together in solidarity, to support one another in our struggles, and to better understand each other’s plight and narratives.
The Jewish community must continue to speak out against racial injustice and work to effect change, while the Black community must continue to speak out against all forms of antisemitism.
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Rabbi Abraham Heschel, and the many Blacks and Jews who stood together in the fight for civil rights, we come together to support each other in the struggle against hatred and bigotry.
In the words of the late John Lewis, “We are one people, one family, the human family, and what affects one of us affects us all.”