La Casa De Papel, popular known as Money Heist, has been all the rage since the release of its latest season. The show's gripping storyline has kept the audience engaged for 43 episodes, garnering praises from fans and critics alike. However, in light of a recent interview of the cast, social media users have called for a boycott of Spanish Netflix crime drama after some cast members praised Israel during said TV interview.
According to the Arab media, several actors from the famous series made an appearance on Israel’s Channel 12 to speak about the upcoming season of Netflix's biggest foreign show.
When asked about his visit to Israel, Darko Peric, who plays the role of Helsinki, commented, “It was a marvellous experience and I hope to come back again. I know that there are a lot of fans here, and the people here are great. When people travel to Israel, they always talk about strict security and police measures, but when I arrived here even the police wanted to take pictures with me. It was great!”
Spanish-Armenian actor Hovik Keuchkerian, who essays Bogota, shared he would love to visit Israel, adding that he had only heard “wonderful things” about the country. Keuchkerian then went on to praise Fauda, an Israeli drama about an undercover unit, whose commandos carry out missions in the occupied Palestinian territories while disguised as Arabs.
The aforementioned Netflix show has been heavily criticised by activists and commentators, who have accused the show of exploiting Palestinian suffering and turning it into entertainment.
Calls for boycott
After the interview of the cast on the Israel TV went viral, activists and humanists took to Twitter and called for a boycott of Money Heist.
“While millions of Money Heist fans wait for the fifth season, performers from the successful show appeared on an Israeli channel, expressing their support for the Israeli occupation and celebrating its criminal activities against Palestinian(s),” one Twitter user wrote.
“While millions of Money Heist fans wait for the fifth season, performers from the successful show appeared on an Israeli channel, expressing their support for the Israeli occupation and celebrating its criminal activities against Palestinian(s)." https://t.co/l56rDOs2tz #BDS— Jinjirrie 🐈⬛ (@Jinjirrie) September 9, 2021
Several Twitter users called on Alba Flores, who played Nairobi in the show and had lent her support to Palestine against Israel, to speak out against her co-stars.
Flores had expressed solidarity with Palestinians during Israel’s aggression in Gaza in May which resulted in the death of at least 248 people. "There is no justification for the massacre. All our support for the Palestinian people. #PalestineUnderAttack #FreePalestine," she had written.
Peric and Keuchkerian were not the first Money Heist stars to praise Israel: co-star Jaime Lorente aka Denver heaped praise on the country during a 2019 visit.
“When they talked to me about going to Israel, I agreed right away. I had heard a lot about this amazing country and how special it is and about the Tel Aviv nightlife and the great food. I’d love recommendations about where to eat hummus and falafel,” he said at the time.
Several social media users took to the IMDb database website to post negative comments and reviews of the show, following the interview.
“The cast should stop showing their love for an apartheid state that kills Palestinians, destroy their homes and steal[s] their land,” read one comment, with a rating of one star out of ten. Another review accused the show of “claim[ing] to support the oppressed and downtrodden yet they openly support the Zionist occupation of the Palestinians."
Users on social media said that the negative comments could help in raising awareness about the Palestinian struggle. “Reducing the rating of the series will not liberate Palestine, but it will affect production and affect viewers and advertisement in the event that the campaign becomes global,” suggested one Twitter user.
“Like when we succeeded in decreasing the rating of Facebook and Instagram on Google Play and the App Store, we are able to make an achievement and lower the rating of the La Casa de Papel series on IMDb,” said a Palestinian account. "We must have a voice deliver a message to the producers of the series that the stars of the series praising the occupation will not go unnoticed.”
There were several posts on the same on Instagram. The users have asked the fans to not watch the show, and extend their support to the oppressed.
This article originally appeared on Middle East Eye.
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