The company behind the Golden Globe Awards has expelled Egyptian film critic Howaida Hamdy in the wake of a comprehensive investigation conducted by the media watchdog CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis).
Hamdy was among three members booted from the Golden Globes “for violating the organization’s code of conduct following investigations into complaints about their behavior,” Deadline reported after CAMERA exposed her Arabic statements in support of terrorism and anti-Jewish bigotry.
CAMERA Arabic’s investigation unveiled a stark contrast between Hamdy’s Arabic and English-language coverage of films directed by Hany Abu-Assad, a Palestinian-Dutch filmmaker.
In Arabic, Hamdy criticized Abu-Assad’s films “Paradise Now” and “Huda’s Salon” for what she perceived as a negative portrayal of “Palestinian resistance,” i.e., targeting Jewish civilians in suicide bombings. She was particularly critical of the “mislabeling” of “Paradise Now” protagonists as terrorists.
The tone of Hamdy’s English-language Golden Globes review of “Huda’s Salon” was notably different, with no trace of her Arabic sentiments glorifying terrorism. Instead, she provided a neutral overview of the film’s plot and characters.
“The discrepancy in her reviews raised our concern about Hamdy’s objectivity and integrity as a film critic,” said Tamar Sternthal, director of CAMERA’s Israel office.
“Hamdy’s history of inflammatory rhetoric, including allegations that Jews control Hollywood and that Islamic terrorism is a Zionist-American conspiracy, was brought to light during our investigation,” Sternthal said. “Such statements are not only divisive but also perpetuate harmful antisemitic stereotypes and falsehoods.”
Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director, added that Hamdy’s case exemplifies why CAMERA established an Arabic-language department.
“Far too often we’ve noticed Arabic-language media personalities concealing their bigoted commentary from English-speaking audiences,” Levin said. “Hamdy’s duplicitous reviews are a perfect example of this ongoing problem which our staff has repeatedly exposed.”
The watchdog group applauded the Golden Globes’ decision to expel Hamdy from its prestigious Hollywood membership. “There are plenty of honest and gifted Middle Eastern journalists who deserve to be included,” Levin said. “Unfortunately, Hamdy isn’t one of them.”