The X Factor Israel is set to begin filming over the summer

By Katie Campione
May 31, 2021 05:03 PM
Simon Cowell X Factor
Credit: Ian West/PA Images via Getty

Looks like Simon Cowell won't be judging the upcoming season of The X Factor Israel, after all.

The TV personality canceled his scheduled appearance on season 4 of the Israeli version of his musical reality television show, a spokesperson for Reshet — the media company that produces the series — told Variety in a statement.

Cowell's exit comes amid the worst escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians since 2014.

A representative for Cowell did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, but a Reshet spokesperson told Variety Cowell's cancellation is "for his own reasons."

The representative went on to tell the news outlet that Cowell's staff reached out to Reshet last week with "legitimate concerns" about his involvement with the show — though at that time, Cowell had not made a final decision.

Cowell signed a deal to serve as one of the judges on the fourth season of The X Factor Israel back in December, Variety reported at the time.

Filming is set to begin filming over the summer. Reshet would not say whether Cowell will be involved with the show in another capacity outside of judging, according to Variety.

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The X Factor was first launched by Cowell in the U.K. in 2004. He served as a producer and judge for the first seven seasons before moving over to the U.S. to kickstart the show overseas. It is now produced in 56 territories.

Cowell's appearance on the Israeli show would have been "the first time Simon Cowell is coming to judge in a country outside of the U.S. and Great Britain," according to a statement from Reshet.

"This is a huge achievement for Israeli TV," a spokesperson for the company told Variety at the time. "[Cowell's] participation as a judge in the Israeli format provides an opportunity for international exposure for Israeli singers."

Other judges on the the panel include Netta Barzilai, Aviv Geffen, Ran Danker, Miri Mesika and Margalit Tzanani.