Noah Schnapp faces renewed controversy after apology video and defence from Stranger Things co-star

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jan 17, 2024 at 01:08 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

On Monday 15 January 2024, Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp posted a two-minute-long apology video to his TikTok account wherein he addressed the criticism he’s faced regarding his stance on the Israel-Hamas war.

In the statement, the 19-year-old actor noted that his “thoughts and beliefs” about the war have been “misconstrued” in the past few months. The initial backlash came after the actor and his friends were filmed holding and handing out stickers that read “Zionism is sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS.”

https://www.tiktok.com/@noahschnapp/video/7324619430477172014

These actions led to an onslaught of online bullying and harassment, which resulted in Schnapp taking a long break from social media spanning from early October to late December.

Nevertheless, the outrage didn’t affect Schnapp alone. Netizens also started to call for a boycott of the last season of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things, which features the actor in a main role next to Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink.

Many framed Schnapp’s comments as “pro-genocide” and called for his immediate cancellation, as well as exclusion from future TV and film projects.

On 7 October 2023, the Islamist military group Hamas launched an attack on Israel that killed over 1,200 civilians and was described as the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. In response, Israel launched a heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip that claimed the lives of over 20,057 Palestinians and drew an intense amount of international criticism, culminating in a genocide case in front of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Schnapp, who is Jewish and had his Bar Mitzvah in Israel, has publicly expressed his support for the Jewish state after the attack, leading to condemnation by his young fanbase.

In his apology video, the 19-year-old affirmed that he stands “against any killing of any innocent people,” wishes for peace, and has “learned a lot” from recent conversations with “Palestinian friends.” The clip has been trending on Twitter and TikTok since its release one day ago.

“Anyone with any ounce of humanity would hope for an end to the hostilities on both sides,” Schnapp stated while holding eye contact with the camera. “We are all human, and we are all the same, and we should all love each other for that and support each other and stand together.”

 

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A post shared by Noah Schnapp (@noahschnapp)

Nonetheless, calls for boycotting season 5 of Stranger Things were revitalised after the release of clip, with many netizens branding it as disingenuous and an obligatory response to the backlash.

The scrutiny the show is under intensified after his co-star Brett Gelman stated that he didn’t think Schnapp even needed to apologise, as reported by TMZ.

“I saw nothing wrong. He held up a sticker saying ‘Zionism is sexy’… Zionism is the belief that Israel should exist, and that’s sexy to me too,” the Fleabag star stated. Just like Schnapp, Gelman was raised in a Jewish family and has been an active participant in the contested debate around Zionism.

His X, formerly, Twitter bio line even describes the 47-year-old as a “Jaddy,” or Jewish daddy, and “Zionist pig.”

The older actor’s comments threw both of the Stranger Things stars in the middle of revived outrage.

Neither Schnapp nor Gelman have publicly responded to the renewed scrutiny so far.

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