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Scooter Braun Calls on Artists to Demand Release of Hostages Held by Hamas

Scooter Braun called for popular artists “with much bigger platforms” to demand the release of the hostages that were taken by Hamas from an Israeli electronic music festival.

“Say something, ask for the hostages to come home,” Braun said in an Instagram video posted on Friday (Dec. 22). “Say that no music festival deserves this.” Hamas attacked the Supernova Sukkot Gathering on Oct. 7, killing more than 360 people and taking a number of hostages.

Braun is joined in the Instagram video by Rachel, the mother of a hostage named Hersh. (She is not identified by last name in the video, but her story matches that of Rachel Goldberg.) “The silence from the music industry has been so deafeningly palpable for us,” Rachel says. Later she adds, “I just hope that you will be brave enough to use your platform.”

Braun picks up on this theme. “I’m begging of my own industry to just post something,” he says. “These kids deserved our voices, and we as an industry have done it time and time again — we’ve given our voices.”

In 2017, Braun helped organize a major benefit concert for the victims of the terrorist attack that took place at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Grande performed at the benefit along with Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, and others, raising more than $12 million. “There’s been so much negativity and such a lack of leadership when we’re looking to have hope,” Braun said at the time.

Read a transcript of Braun’s comments below.

Scooter Braun: I am here with Rachel, Hersh’s mom… Her son is now 76 days being held in Gaza. The last images she saw of him, he had his left arm blown off. He’s a lefty like she is. We just had an amazing conversation I’m going to share. I want to be clear this is not what I do. I find it insane that I’m the one standing here with her or that we’re the ones who had a conversation. There should be people with 100 million followers and much bigger platforms who do this for a living, who are artists, who are reporters, who should be giving her a platform. And privately, she told me she has reached out to so many people, but because of the nuance of the conflict, they don’t want to talk about this. I think every single one of us in our industry knows that if this was any other situation, any other country, we’d be losing our minds speaking of how a music festival is not an appropriate place for people to be shot in cold blood. For them to be blown up or shot as they’re running away or taken prisoner and hostage like her son for over 70 days.

Rachel: I did want to say that 364 young people were killed at the Nova Music Festival. And over 40 of them were taken hostage and are still being held. A lot of those kids were coming from all over the world. And I think that that’s getting lost in a larger picture of pain and confusion, because it is a really complicated neighborhood that we live in. But I think that the silence from the music industry has been so deafeningly palpable for us and for all of the people who have children who were either massacred or are missing. And I just hope that you will be brave enough to use your platform because you have to be able to look at yourself and know that you’re doing the right thing for those kids who died at that festival or those kids who are suffering terribly in captivity right now. And I hope that you have the courage to do that. And maybe what might surprise you is you’ll get more fans and you’ll get more credit in the wold that you’re part of.

Braun: This is not what either of us do. I’m a behind the camera guy and she’s a mom and a teacher. I’m begging of my own industry to just post something, say something, ask for the hostages to come home. Say that no music festival deserves this. These survivors I met last night, they started naming many of you artists and asking me, ‘Why have you said nothing? These are our heroes. What if this happened somewhere else?’ So I’m going to end this here. These kids deserved our voices, and we as an industry have done it time and time again — we’ve given our voices. This was one of our things. This was a music festival. Not asking for you talk about the Kibbutzim right now. I’m not asking for you to talk about the massacre. I’m not even asking you to talk about the conflict right now. This was ours. This was a music festival, a peaceful music festival. They deserve to hear our voices right now as an industry. And shame on us if we don’t do it.

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