- The videocall on Wednesday included 30 Jewish influencers and celebrities
- Sacha Baron Cohen said TikTok is facilitating ‘the most antisemitic movement since the Nazis’
- Gen Z users have been spreading Bin Laden’s 2002 ‘Letter to America’
Jewish celebrities including Amy Schumer, Sacha Baron Cohen and Debra Messing took on TikTok executives in a heated, 90-minute video call on Wednesday over the app’s failure to stop rampant antisemitism.
Among the stars’ complaints was TikTok’s indifference to the pro-Palestine phrase ‘From The River to the Sea’, which they say equates the eradication of Israel.
They also took issue with a recent viral video of a teen reading out Osama Bin Laden’s 2002 ‘Letter to America’.
The letter spread on TikTok in recent weeks as the conflict between Israel and Palestine continues. The trend sees Gen Z users, most of whom were not born on 9/11, sympathize with Bin Laden and agree with his pro-Palestine remarks.
On the call, Baron Cohen slammed TikTok executives for what he called the ‘the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis.’
‘Shame on you!’ he scolded the executives, telling them to ‘flip the switch’ to stop the growing antisemitism.
The call was with Adam Presser, TikTok’s head of operations, and Seth Melnick, its global head of user operations, according to The New York Times.
Messing implored the execs to ban the phrase ‘From The River to the Sea’ but they declined, telling her and everyone else on the call that it’s open to moderation from the site, and only offensive when used in a violent way.
‘Where it is clear exactly what they mean — “kill the Jews, eradicate the state of Israel” — that content is violative and we take it down.
‘Our approach up until Oct. 7, continuing to today, has been that for instances where people use the phrase where it’s not clear, where someone is just using it casually, then that has been considered acceptable speech,’ Presser, who is also Jewish, said.
Messing asked them to reconsider.
‘It is much more responsible to bar it at this juncture than to say, ‘Oh, well, some people, they use it in a different way than it actually was created to mean.’
‘I understand that you are in a very, very difficult and complicated place, but you also are the main platform for the dissemination of Jew hate,’ she said, according to the Times’ report.
All three have been vocal supporters of Israel since the Hamas attack on October 7. There were some 30 people on the call.
The ‘Letter to Bin Laden’ trend has been slammed by Americans including Megyn Kelly, who blasted the youngsters sharing it as ‘Gen Z losers.’