Variety to hold Hollywood summit on antisemitism with Fran Drescher, Marc Maron, Alex Edelman and other stars


(JTA) — Variety magazine is holding a star-studded Hollywood summit focused on addressing antisemitism through “inclusive storytelling, thought leadership, and advocacy.”

Actor, producer and SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher will deliver an opening keynote address at the daylong event on Oct. 18. Subsequent panel discussions will cover topics ranging from the history of Jews in Hollywood to combating antisemitism through  comedy and social media.

“The reason we decided to pursue something of this magnitude and scale is simple, yet vital and urgent,” Claudia Eller, Variety’s chief production officer, said in a statement on Thursday. “We wanted to encourage candid discussions about antisemitism, its disgraceful proliferation in the modern era, and how to encourage more thoughtful and accurate representation throughout the industry. Our hope for the day is to bring people together to make change happen.”

One panel is titled “The State of Antisemitism” and features prominent TV producers. Another, led by film historian Neal Gabler and “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, will tackle the industry’s Jewish history and antisemitism during its early years. Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, Alex Edelman and Marc Maron will participate in another panel on how to use comedy to open up discourse on contemporary antisemitism. Julianna Margulies will discuss her own personal experiences of antisemitism.

Variety will also publish a series of online essays in conjunction with the event, including writings by Maron, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, Beanie Feldstein, Mayim Bialik, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and more.

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