LOS ANGELES: Record producer and television personality Simon Cowell has cancelled his scheduled appearance as a judge on the upcoming season of “The X Factor Israel”.
The 61-year-old music mogul last December signed a deal to serve as one of the judges on the fourth installment of the Israel version of singing reality show.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for Reshet, which produces “The X Factor Israel”, told Variety that Cowell, who is the creator of the British original series “The X Factor”, was cancelling the appearance “for his own reasons”.
Amid rumours of his cancellation last week, a representative for the network said that members of Cowell’s staff had reached out with “legitimate concerns” over his participation in the show after the recent violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, but that at the time he had made no final decision.
Representatives for Cowell did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Cowell broke his back in a bike accident last year and had to take a break from work for surgery and extensive rehab and recovery.
TV presenter Liron Weizman will host “The X Factor Israel”, which is slated to begin shooting this summer.
In the new season, Mizrahi singer Margalit Tzan’ani, singer-songwriter Aviv Geffen, and singer and eurovision 2018 winner Netta Barzilai will serve as judges.
After Cowell’s exit, a fourth judge is yet to be named.
Cowell currently appears as a judge on “America’s Got Talent”.