Jason Blum was booed off stage at the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles last night. The Halloween and Get Out producer was there accepting his Achievement in Film and Television Award when he started to talk about the midterm elections and criticized President Donald Trump in the process. Blum's remarks about Trump elicited boos and whistling from certain members of the crowd who disagreed with the producer, and one man even charged at Blum from the audience.
Things started off pretty well at the event with Israeli director Avi Nesher receiving the Cinematic Achievement award earlier in the evening. Nesher also made some political comments, but he did not receive the same treatment that Jason Blum received. Blum took to the stage and immediately started talking about the midterm elections. He had this to say.
"Tonight we have much to celebrate with the opening of the 32nd Israeli Film Festival but at the same time today Americans went to the polls to exercise our right to vote, I have been quietly checking my phone and we're doing pretty well. The election results are pouring in as I speak and a lot is on the line."
Jason Blum went even further, taking jabs at President Trump, which really got the crowd upset. The boos grew louder and other audience members started to whistle at the producer. However, Blum was undeterred and kept on giving his speech. He explains.
"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! As you can see from this auditorium, it's the end of 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."
After the anti-Semitism comments, Yossi Dina, an Israeli pawnbroker from the reality show Beverly Hills Pawn, stormed up from the audience to the stage and attempted to physically pull Blum from the mic. The boos continued and people started to leave in protest to what Blum was saying as well as for the reactions from certain members of the crowd. The producer was finally escorted from the stage.
Even though there were many people that were booing Jason Blum, there were more people who were supporting his words. The Israel Film Festival is incredibly lucky that a riot didn't break out and that the violence was stopped. It's a divisive time to talk about politics in public places, as Blum learned last night. Regardless, Blum seems okay after the situation, and he went on Twitter to deliver the entirety of his intended speech. You can watch a video of the whole debacle as well as Blum's tweet's below, thanks to The Hollywood Reporter Twitter account.
Well, this night went kinda haywire. https://t.co/NMb37yQAUn— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
I was honored by the Israel film festival tonight and, unfortunately was not allowed to finish the speech I was trying to give. Here is the message...— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
Thank you, Lin, for those kind remarks and for your friendship. I am thrilled you could be here tonight. And thank you to Meir Fenigstein everyone at the Israel Film Festival for this tribute.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
...and his films are beloved by audiences and critics around the world. He’s played a pivotal role in the growing prominence of Israeli cinema. I am also a huge fan of Israeli television. As an avowed binge-watcher, I have spent way too many hours with Fauda and Hostages.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
Not to mention Homeland, which would not exist if not for Hatufim. So, tonight we have much to celebrate as we open the 32nd Israel Film Festival. At the same time, today, Americans went to the polls to exercise our right to vote on what kind of future we want for our children.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
Those election results are pouring in as I speak. And so much is on the line. The past two years have been hard for all of us who cherish the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this country. The sense of community that has bound us together for generations is all but gone.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
We have seen the end of civil discourse. We have a President who calls the Press the enemy of the people. Nationalism is surging. Dog whistle politics are rampant and anti-Semitism is on the rise in ways my generation never thought imaginable.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
The Internet has become a place where people can vent their rage and spew hate anonymously. It is helping bigotry thrive. The truth is, hate speech breeds violence. It dehumanizes. It demonizes. And ultimately, it targets. What we saw in Pittsburgh was a horrific example.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
These are NOT isolated incidents. They are NOT happening somewhere else. They are happening HERE in our communities and we must step up and speak up. We cannot allow anti-Semitism or bigotry of any form to become mainstream. Those of us who work in film and television...— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
...have a vital role to play in telling stories that portray all kinds of people from all corners of the world. Stories that entertain, but also make us think more and harder about who we are and where we are going.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
It’s time for us to be vigilant in bringing new voices to the cinema. To nurturing diverse filmmakers from all walks of life who can offer unique perspectives on the world. When you have a chance to walk in the shoes of others who are not like you, it is harder to hate.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
Most of all, this is a time for all of us to examine our values and decide what we are willing to tolerate. It is time to be accountable. It’s time to speak out loudly when we see examples of bigotry. Don’t allow it from your friends, your co-workers or your family members.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018
If we are not accountable, we may wake up one day in a country we don’t even recognize. Let us all hope that today’s election starts to chart a different course - not just for the U.S., but for the world – one that reaffirms the values that we all cherish. Thank you.— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) November 7, 2018