Actor John Cusack Apologies for Anti-Semitic Retweet

June 20, 2019 Updated: June 20, 2019

This week, 52-year-old actor John Cusack fired off a barrage of tweets apologizing to his 1.6 million Twitter followers for an anti-Semitic image he retweeted.

The retweet—which has since been deleted—showcased a black and white cartoon featuring a large opened hand with a blue Star of David on the sleeve, crushing a crowd of people underneath it.

The image was accompanied by a quote mistakenly attributed to the seventeenth century French historian and philosopher Voltaire which read, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

The quote is alleged to have actually been based upon the writings of white nationalist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom, reported USA Today.

Along with the retweet, Cusack attached the quote, “Follow the money.”

Screenshots from Twitter user @yashar show Cusack initially attempting to claim that the retweet was the result of falling prey to a “bot.”

“A bot got me,” Cusack explained in a now deleted tweet. “I thought I was endorsing a pro Palestinian justice retweet – of an earlier post – it came I think from a different source – Shouldn’t Have retweeted.”

Cusack later revealed in a tweet that he considers a bot account and an alt-right account to be the same thing, “A bot is an alt right account – same thing- not a person but an organized agenda.”

The bot claim was undermined by accompanying screenshots showing that the actor had, according to AP, attempted to defend the retweet against social media critics, while accusing Israel of atrocities against Palestinians.

Cusack later sent a tweet admitting that the retweet was a mistake, saying, “it’s clear that even if it was Israel’s flag & even if you don’t have antisemitic bone in your body, it is still an antisemitic cartoon. Because it deploys anti jewish stereotypes in its attacks on Israel, even if those critiques about state violence are legit.”

Cusack continued in a subsequent tweet, “I mistakenly retweeted an alt right account I thought was agreeing With the horrible bombing of a hospital in Palestine.”

Soon after, Cusack consolidated his apology into a longer tweet that posted on the Twitter supplementation site TwitLonger.

He wrote, “I would like to express my sincere apologies for the insensitive and offensive graphic that I regrettably retweeted. Social media has always been a platform on which I have engaged to express my thoughts and opinions, however, the material that I shared does not now, nor has it ever, represented my views in any shape or form. I have always believed that all people should live in equality, freedom and peace and I am deeply saddened that an account with which I am associated could perpetuate anything less.”

An article on NME claims that according to the Anti-Defamation League, instances of anti-Semitism are up 57% in the US in 2017 compared with that of the previous year.

The League also claims that it was the first time since 2010 that there have been reported cases in all 50 states.