Egyptian Actor Responds to Backlash for Starring With Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman’ Sequel
Egyptian actor Amr Waked took to Twitter on Sunday to defend himself after anti-Israel activists criticized him for starring alongside Israeli actress Gal Gadot in the “Wonder Woman” sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984.”
After Waked announced on Saturday that he would appear in the superhero film, set to premiere in 2020, social media users attacked him, with one writing on Twitter, “F–k you. Amr. You are a traitor,” and others expressing disappointment in his decision and calling on him to withdraw his part in the film.
One Twitter user wrote, “You are a man of morals..nothing moral in working with apartheid enthusiasts @amrwaked QUIT NOW!” while another tweeted, “you’re a hypocrite & a disgrace to all arabs. normalizers have absolutely no place among us. i hope u find whatever it is ur looking for in the us because we want u as far away from us as possible.”
Others attacked Gadot, saying, “Gal Gadot prayed for Israeli criminals who killed 2,400 Palestinians in 2014! Shame on Amr Waked,” while one BDS supporter asked Waked, “From a moral standpoint, are you okay with filming with an actress who is vocal in her support of her government which on a daily basis dehumanizes, kills, tortures, and imprisons another people? Or are the values you uphold elastic enough to accommodate such an issue? #BDS.”
Waked addressed the critics by tweeting: “Art taught me to be a human before anything else, to champion human values, justice, and morals. It taught me to stand up against the [faulty] act and behavior, rather than the individual. It taught me to be committed to humanity rather than anything else. I work on that day and night, and I combat extremism, grudges, and hate towards anyone- or at least I try my best to.”
The actor previously received backlash in 2008 for starring alongside Israeli actor Yigal Naor in the BBC mini-series “House of Saddam.”
In March, Waked met with members of the US Congress to raise awareness of alleged human rights violations by the Egyptian government and called for international solidarity with Egyptians. Not long after, the Egyptian Actor’s Syndicate revoked Waked’s membership and accused him of “high treason to the nation and to the Egyptian people.”
Earlier that same month, Waked told ABC News he feared returning to Egypt from Europe, where he now resides, because he had been sentenced to eight years in military prison for publicly criticizing the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.