Playboy has cut its ties with adult entertainer Mia Khalifa after the Lebanese-born porn star posted a series of tweets celebrating Hamas’ attack on Israel, Fox News reported on Tuesday. Khalifa insists that she didn’t endorse violence.
“Over the past few days, Mia has made disgusting and reprehensible comments celebrating Hamas’ attacks on Israel and the murder of innocent men, women and children,” Playboy said in an email to content creators on Monday, according to the US news site. “At Playboy, we encourage free expression and constructive political debate, but we have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech. We expect Mia to understand that her words and actions have consequences.”
The magazine added that Khalifa’s Playboy channel would be deleted and all of her videos blocked on its website.
The controversy began on Saturday when Khalifa posted a tweet encouraging “the freedom fighters in Palestine to flip their phones and film horizontal,” later explaining that “I just wanna make sure there’s 4k footage of my people breaking down the walls of the open-air prison they’ve been forced out of their homes and into so we have good options for the history books that write about how how they freed themselves from apartheid.”
Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel that morning, firing a barrage of rockets at Israeli cities and storming Jewish settlements near the country’s border with Gaza. As of Tuesday, at least 800 Israelis have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded, while Israel’s retaliatory strikes on Gaza have claimed at least 770 Palestinian lives. Hamas is also thought to be holding at least 150 Israelis as hostages.
Throughout the weekend, Khalifa posted a stream of pro-Palestinian content. She compared a photo of a truckload of armed Hamas members to “a renaissance painting,” and declared that anyone siding with Israel was “on the wrong side of apartheid and history will show that in time.”
Khalifa’s comments also saw her fired from Red Light Holland, an hallucinogenic mushroom company with whom she worked as a social media advisor. “I’d say supporting Palestine has lost me business opportunities, but I’m more angry at myself for not checking whether or not I was entering into business with Zionists,” she tweeted in response.
Born in Lebanon, Khalifa shot to fame as Pornhub’s top-rated star in 2014, before quitting the industry after just three months in front of the camera. She later claimed that she only earned $12,000 in the pornography industry, and has since moved to producing X-rated content on OnlyFans, a platform that allows users to pay creators directly for photos, videos and other virtual erotica.
No stranger to controversy, Khalifa was accused of anti-Semitism in 2021 after she posted a photo of herself drinking wine from Nazi-occupied France, which she boasted was older than the “apartheid ‘state’” of Israel. Three years earlier, she received death threats from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) for filming a sex scene wearing a hijab.