UPDATED: Kitty Laing is stepping down as head of comedy at United Agents as well as her other leadership roles following a string of social media posts about Hamas’ attack on Israel earlier this month.
The agency said in a statement: “Following the statements made earlier this week, it has been agreed that Kitty Laing will step away from her leadership roles as head of comedy and as a member of the executive committee of United Agents, effective immediately. Kitty will continue to work with her clients and the team at United Agents.”
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Laing sparked controversy as a result of several reposts she made about Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. One post read: “I feel like somehow the word settler has lost its meaning if it can be understood as ‘civilian.’ Maybe a new phrase is needed, like ‘settler paramilitary.'”
In an apology posted on X on Tuesday, Laing said: “I would like to unreservedly apologise for my retweets on social media surrounding the horrendous attacks in Israel on October 7th. With hindsight, I realise how naive I have been and that much of the information on social media surrounding the conflict is unsubstantiated and hurtful. I should have taken time to consider this beforehand.”
United Agents also said on Tuesday that they were conducting an investigation into the matter, writing on X: “We have been made aware of social media posts by one of our senior agents this morning. These are not the views of United Agents Ltd. We are conducting a full and thorough investigation into this immediately.”
Over 1,400 people were killed during the attacks by terrorist group Hamas earlier this month, which took place in the victims’ homes and villages as well as at a music festival. A further 200 people from over 40 nations are still being held hostage.
Laing also reposted a message calling reports about babies being beheaded during the massacre “fake” and accused people who posted evidence about the beheadings of “excitement.” “Y’all were excited to report the fake beheaded babies, but these real babies now have mere hours left,” the post read.
Another repost Laing published blamed an attack on a Gaza hospital on Israel. News outlets including the New York Times, CNN and the BBC have confirmed the hit on the hospital carpark was almost certainly caused by a Hamas rocket misfiring and falling short of its intended target.
A number of British comedians, including the Oscar-nominated writer Lee Kern and “Hapless” star Josh Howie, drew attention to the posts on social media this morning. Another British comedian, who asked to remain anonymous, told Variety: “I’ve been shocked by the amount of antisemitic sentiment there is in the British comedy industry. I suppose the only positive thing is that at least it’s all out in the open now.”
Laing originally deleted her account before reinstating it to post the apology. Her clients include comedians Katherine Ryan and Jamie Demetriou among others. United Agents, which also represents James Corden, Luke Evans and Keira Knightley, was founded in 2007 in the U.K. There have been rumors over the past few months it may be snapped up by a U.S. counterpart such as CAA or Endeavor.
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