A Jewish-American film producer was ridiculed and ordered to leave the stage after criticizing President Donald Trump when he received a lifetime achievement award at the Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Variety reported that Jason Blum was ridiculed during his acceptance speech and that an Israeli man got on stage and tried to drag him before security officials were summoned.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted Blum as the beginning of his speech by saying: "Tonight we should celebrate a lot with the opening of the 32nd Israeli Film Festival. But at the same time today, Americans go to the polls to exercise our right to vote. I secretly checked my cellphone and we did it very well. "Some members of the audience reportedly answered," Depends on who. "
Blum was later quoted as saying to the audience at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills: "A lot is at stake. The last two years have been difficult for all of us who value freedom as citizens in this country. The great thing about this country is that you can like Trump, but I don't have to and I can say what I feel about it – and I don't like it. "
When several members of the audience began to leave the hall and shouted angrily towards the stage, Blum continued: "As you can see from this auditorium, this is the end of the civil discourse. We have a president who calls the press the enemy of the people. Thanks to our president, anti-Semitism is on the rise. "
Blum then tweeted a picture of him backstage at the award with the message, "Well, tonight is a bit broken."
Award-winning Emmy producer, 49, is the founder of Blumhouse Productions, a film company that specializes in making low-budget but commercial horror films. Some of the company's latest hits include "Halloween" with Jamie Lee Curtis, "BlacKkKlansman" Spike Lee, "" Happy Death Day "and" Get Out. "He is also an executive producer on HBO TV shows" Sharp Objects. "
A man identified as an Israeli pawnshop Yossi Dina faces Blum and is reportedly trying to drag him off the stage. Israeli director Avi Nesher was another honorary person at the festival, and he was reportedly one of the men who rushed to help Blum when things began to turn bad.
Nesher also discussed the political atmosphere in America in his acceptance speech, but received a warmer welcome than Blum.
"I am also an American citizen and I am also worried about the situation in this country," he said. "My parents were immigrants twice – once to Israel, and once to this country. I have watched in horror that hatred has become the rule of the day for American administration, and that of Israel. That's why we make films. To entertain but also think. "
After the event, Israeli actor Noa Tishby criticized the audience's response. He told the Hollywood Reporter: "I was saddened by the audience's response to the important criticism that Jason Blum stated on the stage. He should be respected. I want to apologize to Jason on behalf of the Israeli community. There are more people in the audience who support what he says. "
The founder of the Israeli Film Festival, Meir Fenigstein, told the Hollywood Reporter that this was the first time such incidents had taken place at the festival. "I was very surprised but I understand that this is a very stressful day in America with elections," Fenigstein said, adding: "This is not a place for politics and I remain apolitical."