The Anti-Defamation League Monday criticized a sketch performed during Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony by host Seth MacFarlane that it says sends false messages about Jews to a global audience who may be more inclined to accept the stereotypes as factual.
In the sketch, MacFarlane’s animated teddy bear character Ted asked actor Mark Wahlberg if he is Jewish. Wahlberg responded that he is in fact Catholic.
“Wrong answer, try again,” said Ted. “Do you want to work in this town or don’t you?”
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman called the comment “sad and disheartening.”
“While we have come to expect inappropriate ‘Jews control Hollywood’ jokes from Seth MacFarlane, what he did at the Oscars was offensive and not remotely funny,” Foxman said in a statement. “It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs.”
Foxman said that while Hollywood itself may not have taken the joke seriously, the same might not be true for the show’s global audience.
“When one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of 2 billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact,” he said.
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