Egyptian actor Amr Waked to star in Wonder Woman sequel alongside Israel's Gal Gadot

Egyptian actor Amr Waked to star in Wonder Woman sequel alongside Israel's Gal Gadot
Amr Waked comes under fire after announcing he will star alongside Israeli lead actor Gal Gadot in the sequel of the American superhero film Wonder Woman.
3 min read
18 November, 2019
The 46-year-old actor quickly came under fire following his announcement [Getty]
Egyptian actor Amr Waked will make an appearance in the sequel of the DC Comics' blockbuster Wonder Woman alongside Israeli lead actress Gal Gadot, the star tweeted on Saturday.

"Wait for my appearance in the superhero film '1984' (Part II), directed by Patty Jenkins and expected to come out in June 2020," Waked tweeted.

"Do not upset the Wonder Woman," he added.

The 46-year-old actor quickly came under fire following his announcement, with many slamming him for accepting to play a role in a film were the lead actress previously served in the Israeli army.

"You should stand against the normalisation of ties with Israel and your principles in full. Don’t be part of a job with a Zionist. We all recall your role in the film 'Friends or Business', where you raised awareness of the Palestinian struggles," Palestinian blogger Yasser Ashour tweeted.

"Are you aware Amr that the film's lead actress Gal Gadot had served in the Israeli army, which supresses the Palestinians? Working with her is a form of normalisation [of ties with Israel]. You are supposed to be a great artist with a lot of respect," a Twitter user said.

The backlash caused forced the Egyptian star to respond.

"What is normalisation? For me, normalisation is any work that contributes to the occupation or is a product of the occupation. Doing trade with them. Enabling the occupation or covering up its crimes. Or working to lessen or undermine the [Palestinian] cause. All these can be considered as normalisation. Taking a role in an international film, that includes many nationalities, is, in my opinion, not normalisation," Waked tweeted.

His response was not well-received by everyone.

"Don't you even dare explain or justify the unjustifiable. You're a hypocrite and a disgrace to all Arabs. Normalisers have absolutely no place among us. I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for in the US, because we want you as far away from us as possible," a Twitter user said.

The Israeli actress caused a stir in 2014, after posting a picture of herself praying for Israeli forces as Israel led a relentless military offensive against the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"I am sending my love and prayers to [...] all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children...We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!" Gadot wrote.

Wonder Woman subsequently was banned from screening in Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria and Tunisia.

Making an appearence in its sequel will not be the first time Waked plays alongside an Israeli actor.

In 2008, he joined the cast of the BBC-HBO television series House of Saddam to portray Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel.

The lead role of Saddam Hussein was played by Israeli actor Yigal Naor, and subsequently Waked faced punishment by Egypt's Actors Union, which opposes normalisation of ties with Israel. At the time, the union threatened to ban him from all future projects in Egypt.

Waked has been residing in Spain since 2017.

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