Ava DuVernay to Receive GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award (Exclusive)

Ava DuVernay will be honored with the Excellence in Media Award at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, TheWrap has learned exclusively.
The Excellence in Media Award is presented to media professionals who have made a difference in promotin…

Natalie Portman Won’t Accept Award in Israel Due to ‘Extremely Distressing’ Recent Events

Natalie Portman will not travel to Israel to accept an award she was scheduled to receive in June, saying she “cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

“Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” a representative for the “Annihilation” star told the Genesis Prize Foundation, which presents the award.

As a result, the June 28 ceremony in Jerusalem will be canceled entirely, the foundation said in a statement on Thursday.

Also Read: Natalie Portman ‘Very Much’ Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

“We are very saddened that she has decided not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons,” the statement said. “We fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”

Portman, who was born in Israel and has duel Israeli and American citizenship, did not specify which “recent events” were the catalyst for her decision, though she is not the first performer to cancel public appearances in Israel due to protests over the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Last November, Portman was selected to receive the 2018 Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel,” for her demonstration of “outstanding professional achievement and commitment to the Jewish people and Jewish values, such as social justice, tolerance and charity.” At the time, she committed to “re-gift” the $1 million in prize money to charities focused on advancing women’s equality.

Also Read: Natalie Portman on ‘Annihilation’ Whitewashing Accusations: ‘More Diversity in All Films’ Needed

“The mission of the Genesis Prize is to create a space where we can cast politics aside and come together to appreciate Jewish accomplishments that continue to contribute so much to human civilization; to contemplate Jewish identity and values and what they mean in the 21st century; to strengthen the bond between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora; and to celebrate pride in being Jewish, and – especially in this 70th anniversary year – in the State of Israel,” the Genesis Prize Foundation statement continued. “We are disappointed that this year we will not be able to fulfill this mission in full.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Annihilation’ Film Review: Natalie Portman Anchors Woolly, Weird Sci-Fi Saga

Natalie Portman ‘Very Much’ Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

Natalie Portman on ‘Annihilation’ Whitewashing Accusations: ‘More Diversity in All Films’ Needed

Venice Film Festival to Honor David Cronenberg With Lifetime Achievement Award

Director David Cronenberg will be honored by the Venice Film Festival with its Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. The Canadian horror auteur, known for a wide range of edgy films such as “Videodrome,” “Dead Ringers,” “A History of Violence,” “Cosmopolis,” and “Maps to the Stars,” was last on the Lido in 2011 with psychological thriller […]