LOS ANGELES: Record producer and TV personality Simon Cowell has canceled his planned appearance as a judge in the upcoming season of “The X Factor Israel”.
The 61-year-old music mogul signed an agreement last December to serve as one of the judges on the fourth part of the Israeli version of the song reality show.
On Sunday, a spokesman for Reshet, which produces “The X Factor Israel”, Variety, said Cowell, the creator of the British original series “The X Factor”, canceled the show “for his own reasons”.
Amid rumors of his cancellation last week, a representative of the network said members of Cowell’s staff had come out with “legitimate concerns” about his participation in the show following the recent violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, but that at the time he had not made any final decision.
Cowell representatives did not respond to further requests for comment.
Cowell broke his back in a bicycle accident last year and had to take a break from work for surgery and extensive rehabilitation and recovery.
TV presenter Liron Weizman is hosting “The X Factor Israel”, which is expected to start 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.
Following Cowell’s resignation, a fourth judge has yet to be appointed.
Cowell is currently appearing as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”