Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has finally addressed the storm that erupted last year when a video of him distributing controversial stickers surfaced online. The stickers, adorned with phrases like “Zionism is Sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS,” triggered a severe backlash, leading to calls for boycotting the young actor.
Noah Schnapp handing out “Hamas is Isis” and “Zionism is sexy” stickers pic.twitter.com/PXVHC80Jmt
— lexie 🇵🇸 (@gomezquality) November 13, 2023
Responding to the escalating controversy, Schnapp took to TikTok in a heartfelt video posted on Monday evening. Acknowledging the widespread criticism and boycott calls, the 19-year-old expressed a desire to set the record straight, insisting that his beliefs had been misconstrued.
Also read: Noah Schnapp earns spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list; Backlash brews over ‘laughable’ recognition
— Pop Base (@PopBase) January 16, 2024
Schnapp revealed that he took some time to reflect and educate himself on the Israel-Hamas conflict after the video went viral. He disclosed engaging in open discussions with friends of Palestinian background, emphasizing the importance of such conversations in gaining a more nuanced understanding of the complex issue.
The Bridge of Spies star declared his stance for peace and safety for all innocent people affected by the conflict. He conveyed his hope for the safe return of those held hostage in Gaza to their families and expressed profound sorrow for the loss of innocent lives, particularly among women and children.
Expressing his stance against the killing of innocent individuals, Schnapp passionately conveyed his vision for a future where both groups could coexist harmoniously in the region. He called for understanding, compassion, and unity, urging people to recognize our shared humanity beyond factors such as race, ethnicity, background, country of birth, and sexuality.
As he concluded his heartfelt message, Schnapp set his sights on 2024, expressing hope for a more compassionate online environment where people stand together for humanity and peace.
However, Schnapp’s response triggered a mixed reaction on social media. Some users criticized him for what they perceived as a drastic shift from provocative statements to a plea for world peace, suggesting financial motivations behind the move. Comments highlighted apparent inconsistencies in his stance, with one user pointing out the evolution from “Zionism is sexy” to a plea for global understanding.
his acting didn’t get any better that’s for sure https://t.co/IXXVbxSWMv pic.twitter.com/rTrVj67xzj
— ➳ ken🐾 (@KenLecter) January 16, 2024
Didn’t his original post say like if you’re a “both sides” person then you’re soulless or something? Cut to him basically saying peace in the Middle East hey
— Mateusz (@mateusz01151992) January 16, 2024
Gotta love the PR apology & aha moment that comes when they say that check is gonna stop.
— Jen – Big Bardi🩸✨ (@CasaLaCaldi) January 16, 2024
Crisis PR management activated now ST5 is filming and they know they can’t post anything about him without backlash. Too little, too late. https://t.co/a26uE6EXI6 pic.twitter.com/EycQMtoQP5
— Lexi 💜 (@cariadquinn) January 16, 2024
Yeah, this did not sound genuine at all. Actions speak louder than words. If you cared about Palestinians, you wouldnt have said what you said & done what you did for the last few months while a genocide was & STILL IS happening. You chose your stance & flaunted those stickers. https://t.co/VzGD0AvWy7 pic.twitter.com/qW9sDyB5uN
— Cinematic Goodness (@cinemagamer1) January 16, 2024
As Schnapp’s response circulates on platforms like X/Twitter, it seems the Stranger Things star’s attempt at damage control is met with skepticism and scrutiny from a divided online audience.
Also read: ‘Stranger Things 5’ backlash: Why are fans urging a boycott of the show? Everything you need to know