Beverly Hills-based talent agency Endeavor has returned a US$40 million fund to Saudi Arabia and cancelled its contract with the kingdom in response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Realscreen has confirmed.
The fund was finalized during a high-profile Hollywood party last spring and would have financed Endeavor’s growth, while diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy, including investment in television and film production.
But Saudi Arabia has faced calls for boycott since the death of Washington Post columnist and critic of the government Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October.
The kingdom acknowledged that Khashoggi had been murdered by government officials after weeks of denying knowledge of his whereabouts.
Following the murder of Khashoggi, Endeavor returned the fund in protest of the journalist’s murder, and effectively ended the firm’s relationship with the kingdom.
The story was first reported by The New York Times from sources who have knowledge of the deal.