“Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp said Monday that his “thoughts and beliefs” about the war between Israel and Hamas have been “misconstrued” following outcry over a video of him that some criticized as insensitive.
In a nearly two-minute video uploaded to TikTok on Monday night, Schnapp told his more than 32 million followers that he wants peace, stands “against any killing of any innocent people” and “learned a lot” from recent conversations with Palestinian friends.
“Anyone with any ounce of humanity would hope for an end to the hostilities on both sides,” Schnapp said, looking directly at the camera.
Schnapp, 19, drew criticism in November after video surfaced of him seated inside a restaurant alongside friends holding stickers that read “Zionism is Sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS.” It was not clear who recorded the video or originally posted it online.
Lauren Jauregui, a member of the musical group Fifth Harmony, sharply criticized the video in a post on X, accusing Schnapp and his friends of “an enjoyment of bloodshed, an enjoyment of death.” The actor John Cusack retweeted Jauregui’s post, expanding its reach.
Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,000 people and taking dozens hostage. Israel retaliated with a military offensive that has killed more than 24,000 people in Gaza and wounded more than 61,000 others.
Hamas and the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, are both designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. Israel has been defending itself from accusations of genocide against Palestinians at the International Court of Justice.
Schnapp rose to fame in 2016 when he started playing the character Will Byers on “Stranger Things,” which streams on Netflix. He has also appeared in the Steven Spielberg drama “Bridge of Spies” and voiced Charlie Brown in “The Peanuts Movie.”
In the TikTok video Monday, Schnapp called on people to show more “understanding and compassion” online.
“We are all human, and we are all the same, and we should all love each other for that and support each other and stand together,” he said in part.