Israeli CEO of UK Movie Theater Chain Targeted With Antisemitic Abuse Over ‘Robert The Bruce’ Biopic
The Israeli CEO of a movie theater chain in the United Kingdom has been targeted with vulgar antisemitic abuse in a row over the showing of a biopic about one of Scotland’s national icons, Robert the Bruce.
Cineworld CEO Moshe “Mooky” Greidinger — whose family had a controlling stake in Cinema City International, which Cineworld took over in 2014 — was blamed personally for the chain’s decision to turn down the biopic, “Robert the Bruce,” by anti-Israel activists who hijacked a broader protest campaign, The Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
But apparently bowing to pressure, later in the day, Cineworld announced that the just-released movie, starring Scottish actor Angus Macfadyen, would be shown at its movie theaters in the cities of Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Falkirk.
A petition calling for Cineworld to show the film had gained around 5,000 signatures.
A Cineworld spokesman said in a statement: “We are pleased to have been able to make room in the schedule for Robert the Bruce and it will be playing at Cineworld in Scotland.”
The company’s about-turn came after a furious campaign waged by Scottish nationalists, which online antisemitic and anti-Zionist activists quickly jumped aboard.
“Difficult to criticize them in these days of antisemitism, but as this is the arts the company seems to be populated by a load of Shylocks desperately trying to extract their last pound of flesh instead of building an illegal settlement on it,” one poster wrote.
“Someone posted the Board members,” another contributor noted. “Quite a few Israelis. Why would they want to influence a screening?”
Among the responses to this question was one that tarred Jews as “a bunch of supremacists that don’t want other people with a strong sense of culture, national identity etc.”
Revered as a national hero in Scotland, King Robert I — whose name in the Gaelic language translates as “Robert the Bruce” — ruled in the early 14th century, famously winning victory over the English monarch Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Robert’s struggle for Scottish independence from its English neighbor to the south has remained a favorite theme of contemporary nationalists in the country. The title role actor, Macfadyen, has previously said he hopes the film will boost support for Scottish independence in the present day.