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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Maanya Sachdeva

Tom Cruise ‘saves agent from being fired’ over pro-Palestine posts

Getty Images for Paramount Pictu

Tom Cruise reportedly stepped in to back his agent, one of the top Hollywood representatives, after her pro-Palestine social media posts sparked an industry-wide controversy.

Maha Dakhil, 48, was among the most important talent managers at reputed firm Creative Artists Agency (CAA) until last month, when she faced intense criticism for describing Israel’s war against Hamas as “genocide” on Instagram.

“What’s more heartbreaking than witnessing genocide? Witnessing the denial that genocide is happening,” she reportedly captioned one of her posts.

She apparently also reshared a statement, first posted by the Free Palestine account, which read: “You’re currently learning who supports genocide.”

“That’s the line for me,” Dakhil wrote at the time, reacting to the post.

Dakhil quickly deleted her posts and made her account private but, according to a Variety report, many people had already seen the comments.

Some of her colleagues were reportedly offended by these posts, calling them “antisemitic”, while others felt Dakhil’s Instagram Stories would adversely impact her relationship with Hollywood, where divisions have been widening ever since the conflict erupted on 7 October.

Filmmaker Aaron Sorkin, among Dakhil’s high-profile clients, quit CAA shortly after the controversy began. Steven Spielberg reportedly had two IMDB pages – his and Dakhil’s – edited after they wrongly listed her as his manager.

Dakhil apologised for the posts and resigned from her leadership roles at the talent agency, though she was allowed to continue working with her clients, among them the Top Gun star.

Variety has now reported that Cruise, 61, may have played a direct role in mitigating the fallout for Dakhil after the Mission: Impossible star expressed his support for the agent during a meeting at the CAA office earlier this month.

The Independent has contacted Cruise’s representatives for comment.

Tom Cruise apparently stepped in to back his agent
— (Getty Images for Paramount Pictu)

“I made a mistake with a repost in my Instagram story, which used hurtful language. Like so many of us, I have been reeling with heartbreak,” Dakhil said in an apology shared with Variety.

“I pride myself on being on the side of humanity and peace. I’m so grateful to Jewish friends and colleagues who pointed out the implications and further educated me. I immediately took the repost down.”

“I’m sorry for the pain I have caused,” she added.

In a statement issued two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel, killing 1,300 people, CAA said 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. We wish for peace for all people.”

Israeli retaliatory strikes in the Gaza strip since the attack have killed 13,000 civilians. UNICEF estimated that the number of children killed in Gaza has now exceeded 5,000.

The news comes one day after it was reported that Susan Sarandon was dropped by her agents over remarks the Thelma and Louise star made at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York city.

In particular, Sarandon was criticised for saying: “There are a lot of people afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country.”

A spokesperson for United Talent Agency (UTA) confirmed they were no longer working with the 77-year-old Oscar winner, in a statement to Deadline.

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