Mar 6, 2023

ADL Forms Entertainment Leadership Council to Fight Antisemitism

In the face of rampant antisemitism and hate crime statistics soaring in the United States and abroad — per the FBI, Jews are the most targeted ethno-religious group in the U.S. — the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has announced the launch of its ADL Entertainment Leadership Council, a cohort of top executives and creatives in the film, television, music and media space. The group’s collection mission: to combat societal hate, including antisemitism.

“ADL is the oldest anti-hate organization in America. We’ve been focused on fighting antisemitism, and all forms of bigotry, for 110 years,” says Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and national director. “And one of the issues that is obvious to us, and I think that is obvious to all, is that popular culture shapes the public conversation. In a world in which there’s a high degree of cynicism and distrust about institutions–whether it’s the government or the media or other large entities–today, more than ever, entertainers and influencers shape public opinion and have a direct impact.”

“We also know the power of stories,” continues Greenblatt. “We know that telling stories is a really important part of making sense of the world around us. We also know that it has been a source of real tension to see antisemitism on the rise in recent years. And we’ve seen that manifest in the political space. We’ve seen it manifest on college campuses. And in ways that I think are troubling, we’ve seen it become present in what I’ll call influencer culture and in the entertainment space.”

To that end, UTA, which reps the ADL, assembled a core group of 21 initial members, with plans to grow as the Entertainment Leadership Council takes flight. Those flagship members are: Aaron Rosenberg, partner, Myman Greenspan; Ben Silverman, Co-CEO and chairman, Propagate; Blair Kohan, board member, UTA; Brian Dobbins, talent manager and producer, Artists First; Eric Schrier, president, Disney General Entertainment; Gail Berman, Chairman and CEO, The Jackal Group; Jessica Yellin, host, “News Not Noise”; Julianna Margulies, actor; Karen Hermelin, EVP worldwide research and strategy, Paramount Pictures; Kira Goldberg, vice president, Original Studio Film, Netflix; Leslie Belzberg, film and television producer; Melissa Zukerman, partner, Principal Communications; Michael Sugar, founder and CEO, Sugar23; Modi Wiczyk, co-founder and CEO, MRC; Nick Meyer, CEO, Sierra Affinity/eOne; Nina Tassler, Founder, PatMa; Paul Neinstein, Co-CEO, Project X Entertainment; Seth Oster, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, The Wonderful Company; Stephanie Simon, co-founder and partner, Untitled Entertainment; Susan Rovner, chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television; and Valeisha Butterfield Jones, VP, Partnerships & Engagement at Google, Inc. and Honorary Chair, Black Music Collective at Recording Academy / Grammys.

Building on the same model used to create the Sports Leadership Council, which the ADL founded in 2017 to inspire leading voices from professional and amateur sports to use their platforms to push back against prejudice and hate, the Entertainment Leadership Council “will allow us to strategically engage with industry leadership around our mission of fighting antisemitism in all forms,” says Greenblatt.

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