Debra Messing to Produce Documentary About Rise of Antisemitism in US

Titled “Primal Fear,” the film will chronicle the events and aftermath of Oct. 7

Debra Messing
Debra Messing attends the Tribeca Festival (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

Debra Messing will executive produce a documentary about the rise of antisemitism in the United States, according to media reports. The film is currently titled “Primal Fear.”

This news comes on the heels of the announcement that Sheryl Sandberg will be fronting a documentary about the rape and sexual assault of Israeli women committed by Hamas.

Wendy Sachs, who was a co-director and executive producer of 2020’s “SURGE,” will direct and EP. “SURGE” followed the 2018 congressional campaigns of Jana Sanchez, Liz Watson and Lauren Underwood and premiered on Showtime.

Interviews in the film will include Messing, Michael Rapaport, Noa Tishby, Scott Galloway, US Rep. Ritchie Torres and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The documentary will begin on Oct. 7, the day that Hamas launched an attack on Gaza, and will specifically begin with the attack on the Nova Music Festival. This assault from Hamas resulted in 1,200 Israeli deaths and over 200 kidnappings, victims of which included babies, children and the elderly. As it progresses, the documentary will largely be about the aftermath of that world-altering day and will attempt to explain how antisemitism has transformed over the decades.

This will include diving into the rise of antisemitism on American college campuses, which resulted in congressional hearings as well as the resignations of the presidents of University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. It will also explore how antisemitism as well as misinformation and propaganda have grown on social media, specifically TikTok.

“October 7th shook me to my core, and the reaction of the world from the silence to the hostility has been stunning. I’m honored to be working on this important project at such an urgent moment,” Messing said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Debra on this film. When much of Hollywood stayed silent, Debra doubled down, using her platform to speak out against the hypocrisy, double standards and shocking levels of antisemitism that have blown up in the aftermath of October 7th,” Sachs said in a statement to press.    

Deadline was the first to report this story.


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