Actor John Cusack deletes tweet after being accused of anti-Semitism
Actor John Cusack has come under fire for tweeting an antisemitic meme before deleting the tweet and later blaming it on a "bot". The image contained a quote, and a hand emblazoned with a blue star of David, which is shown crushing a crowd of people.
The quote was erroneously attributed to French satirist Voltaire but is in fact from white nationalist and Holocaust-denier, Kevin Alfred Strom. It reads: "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
Also written on the picture are the words, "Is it not obvious?"
"Follow the money," Cusack wrote alongside the image which - rather than retweet through Twitter - he uploaded himself, crediting Twitter user Mahmoud AbuYusef Tamimi and tagging @GottaBernNow.
Remember the actor from the 2000 movie High Fidelity?
Although the Say Anything actor later deleted the tweet, journalist Yashar Ali posted a screenshot of it to his own Twitter page, writing "This is disgusting." The deleted tweet has since garnered widespread condemnation on the social media platform.
In a later tweet, Cusack claimed he thought the meme was a pro-Palestinian post and blamed it on a "bot".
"A bot got me," the High Fidelity star tweeted. "I thought I was endorsing a pro-Palestinian [sic] justice retweet – of an earlier post – it came I think from a different source – shouldn't have retweeted."
But unfortunately for Cusack, a number of people weren't buying his blame-shifting.
"A bot got you? Yashar Ali wrote in response. "You defended your posting of it in several quote tweets before you deleted."
As criticism of the actor continued, Cusack posted an apology, explaining that: "In reaction to Palestinian human rights under Israeli occupation, an issue that concerns anyone fighting for justice, I [retweeted] and quickly deleted an image that's harmful to both Jewish and Palestinian friends, and for that I'm sorry."
He added, "the use of the [Star of David], even if it depicts the state of Israel - committing human rights violations – when combined with anti-Jewish tropes about power – is anti-Semitic and anti-Semitism has no place in any rational political dialogue."