Tom Cruise is showing support for an embattled talent agent who made references to “genocide” in the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to a Tuesday report from Variety.
Though the “Mission: Impossible” star has notably shied away from anything resembling controversy since his infamous 2005 couch jump, he is said to have stepped in last week after Maha Dakhil’s social media posts were deemed antisemitic and offensive by her colleagues.
On Nov. 15, the “Eyes Wide Shut” actor reportedly visited Dakhil at her Creative Artists Agency office, with a source telling Variety that such a show of support was rare. The outlet wrote that Cruise “made it known to CAA that he was backing her.”
Last month, Dakhil had inadvertently sparked uproar just days after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and the country began retaliating against Gaza.
On Oct. 18, Dakhil reportedly shared an Instagram statement from a pro-Palestinian account, which said, “You’re currently learning who supports genocide.” She is also said to have added her own words to the message, writing, “That’s the line for me.”
In addition, the agent reportedly shared a photo captioned: “What’s more heartbreaking than witnessing genocide? Witnessing the denial that genocide is happening.”
The posts led to pushback from many in her industry, and Dakhil soon apologized.
“I made a mistake with a repost in my Instagram story, which used hurtful language,” she told Variety at the time, adding that she “immediately took the repost down.”
Dakhil also stepped away from her CAA leadership positions, though she was permitted to retain clients such as Cruise, according to Variety.
Despite Dakhil’s mea culpa, she continued to face pushback, with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin leaving the agency over her remarks and signing with WME.
“Maha isn’t an antisemite, she’s just wrong,” Sorkin told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “She’s a great agent, and I’m very proud of the work we did together over the last six years. I’m excited to be returning to WME.”
Variety wrote that Dakhil’s CAA colleagues were divided on the matter, with some threatening to walk out over her treatment while others complained that she wasn’t fired. CAA itself had previously shared a message of support for “the people of Israel, the Jewish community, and all innocent victims” amid the Middle East conflict.
Dakhil isn’t the only Hollywood insider who has faced apparent retribution for speaking out during the war.
Actor Susan Sarandon, who has been arrested multiple times in the past after taking action for causes she believes in — was reportedly dropped by her talent agency for her comments at a pro-Palestinian event.
Melissa Barrera, who led 2022′s “Scream” reboot and starred in the 2023 sequel, was dropped from an upcoming installment of the franchise after reportedly writing that instead of focusing on Palestinians, “Western media only shows the other side” of the conflict.
Israel says Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack killed 1,200 people; Gaza health officials say Israel’s military assault has killed 11,000 to 13,000 Palestinians — around half of whom are thought to be children — but that they have lost the ability to keep counting the dead. Amnesty International suggests that both sides have appeared to commit war crimes.
On Wednesday, the Israeli government announced that it had reached an agreement with Hamas leadership on a temporary cease-fire that’s set to begin Thursday. As part of the deal, Hamas will reportedly release 50 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners from Israel.