Just over one week after CAMERA prompted a commendable correction at the Toronto Star stating that actor Bruce Willis never boycotted Israel, on Friday the paper set the record straight about another celebrity. Following urging from CAMERA, editors clarified on May 24 that Meg "Ryan has never boycotted Israel."
In the May 9 article ("Hawking joins boycott of Israel") in which she erred about Bruce Willis, the Toronto Star's Raveena Aulakh also reported that Ryan had boycotted, stating:
Celebrities from around the world have refused to perform in Israel in recent years as part of an effort to promote the Palestinian cause, including musicians Elvis Costello and Stevie Wonder, and Hollywood actors Bruce Willis and Meg Ryan.
Following up on an anonymous tip, CAMERA queried Stephen Huvane, Meg Ryan's publicist, about the accuracy of Aulakh's reporting on Ryan as well as 2010 reports claiming that Ryan canceled spring 2010 plans to participate in the Jerusalem Film Festival following the Mavi Marmari incident.
On May 22, CAMERA published an article noting that it received word from Huvane that "Meg Ryan never participated in any boycott against Israel." In a follow up email, CAMERA asked Mr. Huvane: "Had she scheduled a 2010 trip to Israel to participate in the Jerusalem Film Festival? If so, what was the cause for the cancellation?" Mr. Huvane, of Slate PR, responded: "I am her publicist and I am not aware of her committing to the Jerusalem Film Festival. She may have been invited although I dont have record of that but we never committed to attending."
CAMERA called on the Toronto Star, the Jerusalem Post, and others which had falsely reported that Ryan boycotted Israel to retract. Moreover, CAMERA pointed out to the Star an additional inaccuracy which required correction. As we wrote last week:
[T]he claim that Stevie Wonder had "refused to perform in Israel" is also inaccurate. In fact, as reported for instance in New York Times and Reuters, Mr. Wonder backed out of a Friends of the Israel Defence Forces benefit concert in Los Angeles.
On May 24, the following correction appeared:
In addition, the online article is amended, and a series of corrections appear at the bottom of the article. (CAMERA is responsible for the May 15 and May 24 corrections.)
CAMERA commends the Toronto Star for commitment to accountability and accuracy, and for the May 17 column by public editor Kathy English ("Bruce Willis and the Israel boycott that never was: Public Editor").