Recently, singer and actress Selena Gomez faced criticism for her post announcing a hiatus from social media. Many speculated that her reference to the “horror, hate, violence, and terror” in the world was related to the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict.
Gomez shared her decision to take a break through her Instagram stories on October 31, 2023.
Notably, on October 7, 2023, the extremist group Hamas initiated attacks on Israel by firing rockets into southern and central regions. Concurrently, forces moved across borders, resulting in civilian casualties and abductions.
Responding to these actions, Israel launched sustained airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, as reported by AP News. They have also initiated a comprehensive blockade, cutting off essential supplies like fuel, water, and power to almost 2.3 million inhabitants.
On October 31, Selena Gomez shared her reasons for temporarily stepping away from social media. In her Instagram stories, she explained her decision to remain silent about the recent global unrest, a statement many associated with the Israel-Palestine conflict.
She expressed her profound sorrow over the prevailing global chaos. “People being tortured and killed or any act of hate towards any one group is horrific. We need to protect ALL people, especially children, and stop the violence for good,” Gomez stated.
While Gomez initially appeared neutral, she motivated her audience to stand by each other and champion the cause of peace.
The section that sparked controversy among internet users was her acknowledgment that her online post might not effectuate the transformation she aspired to achieve.
The “Wolves” singer conveyed her regret that her words “will never be enough for everyone or a hashtag. I just can’t stand by innocent people getting hurt. That’s what makes me sick. I wish I could change the world. But a post won’t,” she added.
In another story, Gomez posted a photo of her younger sibling, Gracie Elliott Teefey, emphasizing the significance of family. She wrote, “Having a sister every day has made me tragically sick. I would do anything for children and innocent lives.”
Highlighting Selena Gomez’s significant Instagram base of 430 million followers, many online users labeled her recent actions and statements as contradictory.
As reported by Newsweek, they highlighted her influential roles in advocating for mental health, racial equality, women’s empowerment, and other issues.
As a result, her neutrality on such a pivotal issue was viewed negatively. Critics on various platforms labeled her “uninformed” and “timid.” Some even said that she, as a UNICEF representative, should “step up.”
Numerous celebrities appealed to US President Joe Biden for a ceasefire in Gaza. As reported by Variety, an open letter supporting this cause was signed by over 2000 artists, with notable names such as Joaquin Phoenix, Jon Stewart, Kristen Stewart and more.
The letter stated: “We urge your administration, and all world leaders, to honor all of the lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay – an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages.”
Furthermore, another letter emerged urging President Biden to demand the release of all individuals held by the Hamas organization.
This letter gained support from celebrities including Amy Schumer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chris Rock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake, among others, kickstarting the #NoHostageLeftBehind campaign.