Disney, Warner Bros., NBCU and Hollywood Agencies Denounce ‘Unthinkable Evil’ of Hamas Terror Attacks in Israel

Paramount, Lionsgate, CAA and SAG-AFTRA are among the entertainment conglomerates also weighing in on the violence in the Middle East

Family and friends of May Naim, 24, who was murdered by Palestinians militants at the "Supernova" festival, near the Israeli border with Gaza strip, react during her funeral on Oct. 11 (Credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images)
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In the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, Hollywood studios and agencies began sharing company-wide memos and social media statements this week to address the crisis in the Middle East.

Uniformly denouncing the “unthinkable evil” enacted by Hamas after the militant group killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and took dozens more hostage, many in Hollywood expressed they were “shocked and saddened by the horrific events,” that they supported Israel against terrorism and in some cases that they pledged donations to aid those impacted by the ongoing violence.

In a memo on Friday, Disney Entertainment co-chairman Dana Walden said she is “devastated for the innocent lives lost in the region” and angry that Hamas’ “act of evil and cowardice” has “torn apart families and stolen loved ones long before their time.”

“In the wake of this terrorist attack, I have had the opportunity to connect with some of you about our shared fears and sadness. Some of you have lost close friends or family — and I can’t even begin to imagine the depths of your pain,” Walden continued. “Others have reached out wanting to know how they can help and how they can support their colleagues who are hurting right now. This is a moment for us all to stand together as one community — to comfort and lean on one another. I am constantly awed by this team’s compassion and resilience, and both are needed right now.”

She also acknowledged ABC News and its Owned Television Stations for their coverage and for risking their lives in Israel.

“The stories they are sharing are the ones no one ever wants to have to cover but are so important for the world to see. The 20/20 special earlier this week was raw, powerful and gut-wrenching — and it shined a light on the human cost of this horrific violence,” she added. “Thank you all for continuing to support one another. Please be kind to yourselves and each other during this particularly dark time. If you’re struggling or just need someone to listen, please reach out to a colleague or your leader. We’re all here for you, and we will get through this together.”

Walden’s comments come after Disney CEO Bob Iger sent an internal memo to members of its Shalom business employee resource group to express his “shock and sadness” and “profound sense of outrage” about the “horrific terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas in Israel.” Additionally, Disney chief human resources officer Sonia Coleman issued a companywide notification calling the attacks targeting Jewish people in Israel “horrifying and heartbreaking.”

“We as a company condemn hate, violence, and terrorism of any kind. Our hearts are with the victims of these attacks, their families, and all those affected by this war,” Colman added. “The safety of our employees in the region remains our top priority. All are presently safe and accounted for, and we will continue to work toward their continued safety and offer support to ensure their well-being. This is a moment for us all to come together and support one another.”

Disney employees looking to offer support to those affected can donate through the company’s match program to UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), the International Rescue Committee, World Food Programme
Direct Relief, American Red Cross. They can also nominate additional organizations for the match program at MatchingGifts.disney.com.

Additionally, Disney has pledged $2 million to humanitarian groups working in Israel, with $1 million going to Magen David Adom. The other $1 million being split between “other nonprofit organizations working in the region, particularly those with a focus on providing aid to children,” the company said.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a memo to staff Tuesday that he is “deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific events in Israel,” and that they are “one of the deadliest in Jewish history since the Holocaust.”

“The terrorist attacks by Hamas on innocent men, women, children and babies have been unimaginable, abhorrent and inexcusable. Many have lost their lives and others have been taken hostage and remain unaccounted for,” the executive said in the internal memo, received by TheWrap. “Our hearts break for all those whose lives have been irrevocably and senselessly impacted by these vile acts of terror. Our company’s founders believed it was their duty to shed light on injustice in the world.”

The executive said that he shares the founders’ commitment “to telling the stories that need to be told,” and he applauded the work of the journalists at Warner Bros. Discovery while reporting on the conflict.

“In defining moments like these, where unthinkable evil is clearly on display, we are especially grateful for the dedication and courage of our CNN and TVN news colleagues who are on the ground in harm’s way reporting on the events in the region and bearing witness for the world and for history,” he said.

Zaslav concluded the memo by encouraging any employee interested in supporting those affected by the conflict to “consult the curated list of relief partners” outlined in a separate memo sent by WBD’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Asif Sadiq and, “where eligible, take advantage of the company’s matching gift program on Benevity.”

Lionsgate’s human resources department issued an internal note to staff on Monday, which was also received by TheWrap. They wrote that the company was “shocked and saddened by the terrorist attack on Israel this weekend and the killing of hundreds of innocent men, women and children with hundreds more taken hostage.” 

“These horrific events impact employees in different ways across a wide range of identities, backgrounds and lived experiences,” the note continued. “For People Leaders, this is a time to be mindful of the impact that current events may have on your team.”

For employees looking to support those affected, Lionsgate said they will match those interested up to $1,000 per fiscal year per employee, with a minimum donation amount of $25. Lionsgate added that it has made its own corporate donation to the American Jewish Committee for humanitarian assistance.

On Tuesday, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and president Mike Cavanagh sent a note to employees that the NBCUniversal parent is “horrified and deeply saddened by the brutal attack on Israel.”

“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost their loved ones through unspeakable acts of terrorism and the devastation of war,” the note continued. “As these catastrophic events unfold, we are so grateful for the tireless dedication and bravery of our NBC and Sky news colleagues who are on the ground risking their lives to shine a light on this terrible conflict.”

Comcast has pledged $2 million to aid humanitarian efforts in Israel and the Middle East. The donation will give $1.5 million immediately to Save the Children Federation Inc., Doctors Without Borders, Direct Relief, and American Friends of Magen David Adom. It will also donate up to $500,00 for all employee donations to the organizations in addition to contributions previously made through its matching gift program

On Wednesday evening, Paramount Global issued its own public statement on social media, saying that they condemn the terrorist attacks by Hamas.

“We stand with the people of Israel and the global Jewish community. We stand with all the innocent lives impacted. We stand with the children who deserve to be children. We stand united against all acts of terror and hate,” the Paramount statement read. “To help, join us in supporting the following organizations: Magen David Adom, UJA-Federation of New York, NATAL, Save the Children.”

In public social media posts on X and LinkedIn on Monday, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said that the attacks against civilians in Israel are “shocking and painful to watch.”

“I have been in touch with our teammates there to make sure we do everything we can to help support their family’s and their safety, and to assist however we can in this very difficult time,” he said. “We’re also in close contact with our humanitarian relief partners on the ground and will be supporting their efforts. Hoping that peace arrives as soon as possible.”

On the agency side, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel condemned the Hamas attacks in Israel as “one of the worst pogroms in history” while speaking at the Bloomberg Screentime conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

“It’s not the same as 9/11, but I had that same feeling,” he said.

Ahead of his Thursday morning conversation at the Bloomberg Screentime conference, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos chose to address the tragedy head-on and share his sympathies regarding those impacted by the attacks.

“I’m reminded all the time when these things happen how small the world is,” Sarandos said. “Many of us in this room probably have lost friends and family [in the attack over the weekend].”

William Morris Endeavor said in its own social media post Tuesday that it would support medical workers, first responders and critical organizations assisting victims in light of the “horrendous acts of violence and terrorism targeting Israel.”

The talent agency said they are matching employee donations to American Friends of Magen David Adom (Red Star of David), CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), IsraAID, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, The Palestine Red Crescent Society and United Hatzalah.

Also on Instagram, United Talent Agency said Tuesday that it “stands with the people of Israel and against terrorism” and that they “pray for the safe return of hostages and the lives of all the innocent people of the region.”

Creative Artists Agency said Tuesday that it “stands with the people of Israel, the Jewish community and all innocent victims in the face of horrific acts of terrorism.”

“For those with family, friends or loved ones living in or connected to Israel and the region, our thoughts are with you,” the post continued. “We wish for peace for all people.”

The company encouraged its followers on social media to support humanitarian organizations working to provide aid and relief resources, including American Friends of Magen David Adom (Red Star of David), American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, British Red Cross, The International Rescue Committee and UJA Federation of New York.

On Friday, SAG-AFTRA issued a statement of its own, saying it “deplores and condemns the horrific acts of aggression against the Israeli people on Oct. 7.”

“The attack was a fundamental violation of human rights and dignity,” the statement read. “There is no justification for the murder and kidnapping of civilians. We mourn the loss of life and urge the safe return of those who are missing and held hostage. We stand united against hatred and violence and pray for peace.”

This is an updating list. More to come…


4 responses to “Disney, Warner Bros., NBCU and Hollywood Agencies Denounce ‘Unthinkable Evil’ of Hamas Terror Attacks in Israel”

  1. Julie Katz Chaiken Avatar
    Julie Katz Chaiken

    I’m so glad she major corporations are talking and financially stepping up…the everyday people are donating millions as a whole.  These multi- million companies need to do the same ..we are ver thankful 

  2. Tillie Avatar

    Thank God Hollywood is supporting the Israeli cause and denouncing the atrocities of Hammas.

    1. 1 Avatar

      hammas fr in the right palestine has been apressed for way to long by israel

  3. Devon Avatar

    Why would Gaza who’s basically 56X smaller than Israel attack Israel. Gaza is surrounded by Israel and all of Gaza’s resources have to come through Israel. That means that everything that is given to them is controlled by Israel who is 56X bigger than them. How does it make sense that Gaza who is 56X smaller and doesn’t control their own resources want to start a fight with Israel, unless they felt like it was the only way for them to survive. If you were being deprived of food, water, and other basic rights as a human being for years wouldn’t you want to fight back against whatever was bullying or oppressing you? Let’s add some perspective to this scenario. A person who is 5.5 feet tall would be attacking someone who is 56X bigger than them. This would make the other person 308 feet tall. It doesn’t make sense for that to happen unless the only options were lay down and die or fight back knowing you’ll probably die but hoping you can give the future generations a better life.

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