Former adult film star Mia Khalifa has been fired from a podcast deal with Canadian broadcaster and radio host Todd Shapiro after she posted tweets supporting Palestine amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Khalifa, who is of Lebanese origin, faced backlash from many social media users, including Shapiro, who accused her of condoning violence and terrorism.
Khalifa calls Palestinians ‘freedom fighters’
Khalifa, who has over 4 million followers on X (formerly known as Twitter), shared several posts expressing her solidarity with the Palestinian people, who have been suffering from Israeli airstrikes and blockade for years. She also criticized the Israeli government and its allies for their role in the conflict.
One of her tweets read, “If you can look at the situation in Palestine and not be on the side of Palestinians, then you are on the wrong side of apartheid and history will show that in time.” She also added, “Can someone please tell the freedom fighters in Palestine to flip their phones and film horizontal.”
Khalifa referred to the Palestinian militants, who have been launching rockets at Israel in response to its aggression, as “freedom fighters”. This term sparked outrage among many pro-Israel supporters, who accused her of glorifying violence and terrorism.
Shapiro cancels podcast deal with Khalifa
One of the most vocal critics of Khalifa’s tweets was Todd Shapiro, a Canadian podcaster and radio host, who had signed a deal with her to co-host a podcast called “The Todd Shapiro Show”. Shapiro announced on X that he was terminating the contract with Khalifa effective immediately.
He wrote, “This is such a horrendous tweet @miakhalifa. Consider yourself fired effective immediately. Simply disgusting. Beyond disgusting. Please evolve and become a better human being. The fact you are condoning death, rape, beatings and hostage-taking is truly gross. No words can explain your ignorance. We need humans to come together, especially in the face of tragedy. I pray for you to become a better person. However, it clearly seems like it’s too late for you.”
Shapiro also shared a screenshot of his email to Khalifa, in which he stated that he was “appalled” by her tweets and that he could not work with someone who supported “terrorists”. He also asked her to delete all the episodes of their podcast from her platforms.
Khalifa defends her stance on Palestine
Khalifa did not back down from her position on Palestine, despite losing her podcast deal and receiving hate messages from many online users. She replied to Shapiro’s tweet by saying, “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. My bad.”
She also clarified that her statement was not inciting any violence, but rather acknowledging the struggle of the Palestinian people. She wrote, “I just want to make it clear that this statement in no way shape or form is enticing spread of violence, I specifically said freedom fighters because that’s what the Palestinian citizens are… fighting for freedom every day.”
Khalifa also shared a link to a website called Save Sheikh Jarrah, which is a campaign to stop the forced displacement of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers. She urged her followers to sign a petition and donate to the cause.
Israel-Palestine conflict escalates
The Israel-Palestine conflict has escalated in recent weeks, following a series of events that sparked tensions in Jerusalem and Gaza. The Israeli authorities attempted to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem that is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians. The Israeli police also raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, one of the holiest sites for Muslims, during the holy month of Ramadan, injuring hundreds of worshippers.
In response, Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, launched thousands of rockets at Israel, some of which reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel retaliated with airstrikes and artillery fire on Gaza, targeting Hamas militants and infrastructure. The violence has killed more than 200 people so far, mostly Palestinians, and displaced tens of thousands more.
The international community has called for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful resolution of the conflict. However, both sides have rejected any mediation efforts and vowed to continue fighting until their demands are met.