Activists Who Urged Lorde To Cancel Show In Israel Dismiss Fine For Damages

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They will donate to a mental health organization in Gaza instead

On Thursday, a court in Jerusalem ordered two women from New Zealand to pay over $12,000 in damages for allegedly “helping persuade” Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel earlier this year. The decision was made based on an Israeli law that “allows civil lawsuits against those who call for a boycott against Israel,” according to The Times of Israel. The activists, New Zealanders Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, have since dismissed the court order, saying that it is attempting to “intimidate Israel’s critics.”

Sachs and Abu-Shanab stated on Friday that, instead of paying the fine, they would be fundraising for a mental health organization in Gaza. They say that they have spoken with New Zealand legal experts, who have told them that Israel “has no right to police the political opinions of people across the world.”

Ahead of the concert, which was supposed to take place in June of this year, Sachs and Abu-Shanab tweeted Lorde an open letter to “take a stand” and “join the artistic boycott of Israel.” The singer responded, saying, “Noted! Been speaking [with] many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.” The show was canceled days later.

As a result, three Israeli ticket holders who had planned to attend the concert filed a suit, claiming that the cancellation had “caused emotional distress.” Their lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner filed the suit with her organization Shurat HaDin in February, saying in a statement that it was “an effort to give real consequences to those who selectively target Israel and seek to impose an unjust and illegal boycott against the Jewish state. They must be held to compensate Israeli citizens for the moral and emotional injury and the indignity caused by their discriminatory actions.”

The law was passed in 2011, and allows civil lawsuits to be brought against anyone who calls for a boycott of Israelis “by virtue of their nationality or place of residence.” The law has been critiqued by objectors arguing that it could stifle free expression.

This suit was the first actual application of the law.

Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Agyness Deyn also star

Elisabeth Moss is trying to keep it together as punk rock artist Becky Something in the trailer for forthcoming movie Her Smell. She's surrounded by iconic faces who make up her band Something She, Gayle Rankin as Ali van der Wolff and Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell, as she grapples with the fact that her musical prowess just doesn't draw as big a crowd as it used to.

In addition to the wavering fame, Becky is "grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom," according to a press release. "When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success." And what's clear from the trailer, Moss is absolutely meant for this role, transforming into the punk on the brink of collapse.

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, and Dan Stevens. Watch the official trailer, below. Her Smell hits theaters on April 12 in New York and 14 in L.A., with "national expansion to follow."




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In an acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards

As The 1975 accepted the BRIT Award for Best British group, outspoken frontman Matty Healy shared the words of journalist Laura Snapes as a way of calling out misogyny that remains ever-present in the music industry. Healy lifted a powerful quote from Snapes' coverage of allegations against Ryan Adams for The Guardian: "Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of 'difficult' artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don't understand art."

Snapes reacted almost immediately on Twitter, saying she was "gobsmacked, and honoured that he'd use his platform to make this statement." Snapes had originally written the line for an interview she published with Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek back in 2015, in response to Kozelek publicly calling her a "bitch" who "totally wants to have my babies" because she requested to speak in person rather than via e-mail, which she brought up in the more recent piece on Adams. Kozelek's vile response, and the misogyny that allowed it to play out without real consequences, it could be argued, could have easily played out in the same way in 2019, which makes her reiteration of the line, and Healy's quoting it on such a large platform, all the more important.

It should be noted that back in December, Healy caught a bit of heat himself on Twitter for an interview with The Fader in which he insinuated that misogyny was an issue exclusive to hip-hop, and that rock 'n' roll had freed itself of it. He clarified at length on Twitter and apologized, saying, "I kinda forget that I'm not very educated on feminism and misogyny and I cant just 'figure stuff out' in public and end up trivializing the complexities of such enormous, experienced issues."