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The ADL Responds to Seth MacFarlane

Tick tock like clockwork

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Seth MacFarlane(Getty)

Well, it’s been roughly 12 hours since the Academy Awards wrapped up and the Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement about Seth MacFarlane’s smirky Jews-control-Hollywood sketch with “Ted” that I mentioned earlier today. Here’s the central point of the condemnation:

For the insiders at the Oscars this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously. But when one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two 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.

I get that MacFarlane’s bit was in poor taste, but so were his jabs at women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, the Christian right, the poor, and other groups. It seems a little much to isolate this one sketch in a four-hour stretch of comedy that was defamatory toward literally everyone.

Earlier: Seth MacFarlane and Jewish Hollywood
Oscars Sketch with “Ted” Reinforces Worst Stereotypes of Jewish Control of Hollywood [ADL]

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perverse says:

I’d like to add my Amen to Adam Chandler’s piece.

The ADL sometimes tries too hard to find antisemitism. Anybody watching the program would realize, within seconds, that MacFarlane is a satirist and insult comedian. Those who would take his schtick seriously didn’t need McFarlane to confirm an already existing prejudice.

    Unfortunately, you don’t have to try too hard to find it. This week marks the “Israel is Appartheid lie thet the far left and Muslim partners espouse.

Dana Gordon says:

Who cares about “everyone”? The ADL is right and you are being very callow about this. You can’t dismiss dangerous antiSemitism by saying, oh, well, the whole evening was tasteless. Those “jokes” were indeed feeding the increasingly widespread and very contemporary calumny about Jews controlling the media. There is no “excuse” for this, other than ignorance, stupidity, or evil. MacFarlane and his writers should know better. They are playing with fire, and someone (certainly not them) is likely to get burned because of their fatuousness. Hollywood people think they are above it all. So do some young bloggers.

    It’s not that anyone thinks they’re “above” the issue, but rather that, as Chandler stresses, MacFarlane is an equal-opportunity offender. If contemporary comedy — which traffics in winking (but still sometimes offensive) stereotypes — isn’t your thing, so be it, but I think it’s misguided to label any one of the slights MacFarlane played up as “dangerous.” They’re funny in part because the audience knows the comedian is playing with fire and will outrage many who can’t take a joke.

    That said, I think the ADL statement is valid. Outside of the American audience, the joke may not be appreciated/understood in the same way. In fact, it may not seem to be a joke at all! But, if the ADL were doing its job of standing up to defamation across the board, it would have called out MacFarlane for ALL of his “jabs,” many of which didn’t involve Jews and were a lot more retrograde…if that sort of thing offends you.

      Dana Gordon says:

      You are using moral relativism to cover this up. Saying it’s bad for the Jews has nothing to do with what he says about anyone else. That it is ALL tasteless is no excuse. Bad is bad.

    They do control the media. How is this a dangerous lie? its the truth.

      they do, but they make such a mess of it. Jews are not good at control, period.

      bonoix says:

      They do? The 6 corporations that own all the world’s media are owned mostly by shareholders, not a group of shadowy people in a room somewhere. Stop the stereotype.

      Marla says:

      Control? Try how discrimination in America controls what, where, how, and when immigrants get jobs and education. Jews didn’t have many choices when they immigrated in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but they did have humor and found opportunities in entertainment, if not junk sellers and tailors like my family. Read the history behind all the big movie houses.

    Martin Leaf says:

    I agree with Dana. As long as Jews are being beaten and murdered throughout the world, merely for being Jewish, or afraid to appear Jewish, in Europe and Islamic countries, for fear of being attacked, this is not a joke. It is anti-Semitism that is adding to a hostile environment for Jews, even, and increasingly so, in America.

    I filed a lawsuit because of the viscous and subliminal anti-Semitism in the film Drive: www . Fight HiTech Hate . com The war is on against the Jews, and it is being fought on every front: Cyberspace, outerspace (battle of satellites and missiles), “psychospace” (subliminal), overt propaganda, on the sea, under the sea, in the classrooms, everywhere. Our enemies have a well funded long range plan. We have the tired old guard of the ADL, and Weisenthal, that in my opinion, is not up for the challenge.

    Anyone can complain about a Seth McFarlane joke, or a swastika on a bathroom stall. We need organizations that can challenge the innovative and effective forms of anti-Semitism as manifest in a film like Drive. Our enemies are winning, look around.

    Naps22 says:

    Aviv Nevo, Leslie Moonves, Robert Igor, Michael Eisner, Sumner Redstone. Can’t be some anti jew calumny when it’s true.

One of the primary screen writers as well as most of the writers on Family Guy and American Dad are Jewish. Tell it walking, Seth MacFarlane is not an Anti Semite.

    Dana Gordon says:

    Those jokes are antiSemitic. Jews can be antiSemitic too. And Jews can be really stupid about what affects Jews, worldwide. It’s easy to say that it’s just humor. Actually, it’s these people using antiSemitism to advance their careers. Why accept it? Just because these people are supposedly “cool”? Or such “transgression” is supposedly cool? It’s not so wonderful on Family Guy either –so thats no excuse — but there it has a context that is somewhat defensible. On a unique broadcast to billions of listeners, it stands for something quite different. It’s amazing you and they can’t see this. …And there are other ways to be funny. They are more difficult than using dangerous stereotypes to make fun of vulnerable people, but achieving success this way (without venality and hypocrisy) makes the greater artist.

      Especially the Jews on the left. Most Hollywood Jews are on the left.

      Okay, let me get this straight. It’s not even okay for Jewish people to make fun of Jews? Good lord, you people are crazy. L-I-G-H-T-E-N U-P! While, Im not Jewish and can’t comment on how I would feel as a Jew. I can put myself in your shoes, and say it wouldn’t offend me. Boy, a comedian suggest Jews have worked hard and are making lots of money making filmd people all over the world want to see. What a terrible message. On a politically correct side note, my wife, a highly educated working professional, had a great laugh at the boobs song.

      If this was John Stewart, Buddy Hackett, Richard Belzer, Woody Allen, Don, Rickles, We wouldn’t be having this conversation. I will take Alex Borstein, and Seth Green’s as well as Mila Kunis, that MacFarlane is not an anti Semite.

I’m sure MacFarlane is not an anti-semite. But, his jokes weren’t funny, and were tasteless. Just because we’re told “not to take things so seriously” or that they’re “just jokes” doesn’t make them funny. Ricky Gervais insulted a lot of people, and was funny doing so. Chris Rock was also funny. Seth MacFarlane was not. I actually found his comment re: Jessica Chastain to be one of the worst. But, using a stupid bear to make fun of the way “Jews run Hollywood” (and how Jack Nicholson’s house is where the orgy will be…seriously? The place Roman Polansky raped a girl?): not funny–not when it plays exactly into stereotypes, and puts us Jews in the position of having to laugh and accept it–or otherwise be bad sports. No cut-aways to Steven Spielberg I noticed. Or to any other Jewish actor. Why? Because it wasn’t funny.

    Dana Gordon says:

    The more I think of it, the more appalling it was. Making fun of the Jews controlling Hollywood? Are they feeling guilty about controlling Hollywood? Or about making so much money? What else does this connect with? Are they all feeling guilty about Israel? That they might have to defend it to all their lefty friends ? Are they embarrassed at being Jewish, or about defending being Jewish? Are they embarrassed about being successful Jews? There’s a really deep can of worms here. Maybe it’s well past time for some serious, honest, self-examination there, by the powerful Jews in the media. Standing up in public proudly about being Jewish, without feeling weird about it, or apologizing for it, without making self-deprecating jokes about it. Or, equally good, just being Jewish without making a big deal about it.

    If he’s not an anti-semite, it’s even worse. Bad enough proven enemies slander us, lest our “friends do so.

Yehudit says:

“MacFarlane’s bit was in poor taste, but so were
his jabs at women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, the Christian right, the
poor, and other groups.” On the other hand, it’s a good reason to not let him get away with any of it, and for advocates foreach of those groups to reinforce how simultaneously insensitive, crass, and unfunny most of his jokes were.

    And most Americans will realize this. But a majority of the Oscar veiwers are not Americans. Most of the named groups suffer violence and even death from the haters. He was WAY OUT OF LINE. And he’s NOT funny.

You want to know what is truly offensive to me as an American? The ADL’s willingness to go after and defame any American who dares to state the obvious. Why must we deny the reality of Jewish influence and power in the entertainment industry? It is Hollywood’s own inside joke, one that many Jewish entertainers make jokes about. Why is it wrong to state the obvious? History shows the Jewish Moguls created Hollywood. A legitimate writer won an LA Times book award for a book on this very topic. Some folks need to read – “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood”: http://www.amazon.com/Empire-Their-Own-Invented-Hollywood/dp/0385265573
It is what it is. Yes, Jews run Hollywood and black dudes rule the NBA and Latino’s will one day rule all of Major League baseball. OK, now go after me Abe Foxman and label me a racist too. The ADL is led by an absolute moron! Abe Foxman owes Seth McFarlane an apology for implying that he is anti- Semitic.

BOTTOM LINE: THE ADL WAS WRONG TO GO AFTER SETH MCFARLANE. In doing so they undermine the import of racism and defamed a comedian.

    valerie says:

    now that’s a 21st century response to realism!

    defame a comedian? how is that possible? Let’s turn the tables: if Seth is upset by these accusations, he should get out of the kitchen. Actually, he has, and is crying all the way to the bank.

anonymous 13 says:

So lets be honest, no matter what you may say jews do control, manage, influence the media, whatever term you like best. Here’s an article from the Times of Israel. Read it and get over yourselves. I agree with it completely.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-do-control-the-media/

It is time for Abe Foxman and the ADL to STOP trying to turn every non-Jew into an anti-Semite. How Jewish is Hollywood? by Joel Stein: ““As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment,” writes the columnist Joel Stein. “Yes, we control Hollywood. Without us, you’d be flipping between ‘The 700 Club’ and ‘Davey and Goliath’ on TV all day.” http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stein19-2008dec19,0,4676183.column

    herbcaen says:

    Without us, you’d be flipping between ‘The 700 Club’ and ‘Davey and Goliath’ on TV all day… it would be an improvement over what we have today

But he didn’t joke about Muslims, Islam and the likes or did he??????

valerie says:

People take themselves and everything way to seriously. In a way, it’s almost impossible not to be racist and intolerant in today’s society. We’re practically living on top of one another in a fish bowl. We live in a culturally diverse country, this type of thing is bound to happen in the entertainment industry. It’s taking a poke at that reality around us and turning it into humor. I think people are stronger than what they give themselves credit for. It’s like we’re supposed to find certain things offensive…c’mon already. People are like this…profane and incorrigible.

    brynababy says:

    Don’t be ridiculous. It’s not funny! It’s promoting stereotypes to an audience around the world of 2 BILLION! Are you kidding? You don’t get it?! There are comedians who are clever, witty and funny. McFarlane is not one of them!

PhillipNagle says:

I wish the ADL would take it more seriously when MSNBC gives Al Sharpton, a vile
anti-Semite with blood on his hands, a one hour show to spew his hatred. Unfotunately the ADL is too selective in its outrage.

As you say, this was seen by a global audience. Many of these already have preconcieved bais’ against the targeted groups. Thus, this is not just innocent fun. Arab and muslim audiences and other anti-Jewish types will see their prejudices confirmed. And I have long since accepted a growing anti-semitism from supposedly Jewish Hollywood. How often do you see positive Jewish role models on TV or movies.
Crooked lawyers, slum lords, gangsters or idiots. How often a hero?

The only injection of politics in the Oscars (outside of M. Obama presenting) was the Israel comment. It stood out from the other “personal” comments.

herbcaen says:

All the Oscars are dreck. I look forward to the day when it no longer exists. It does more harm than good. I also hope that no “israeli” film ever wins at the Oscars, because they are really Palestinian films. Israel should stop paying for its own defamation with taxpayer money

valerie says:

well if a large portion of Jewish movers and shakers control Hollywood and powerful portions of the government, then what the hell is the problem? It’s just shedding some light on their progress and prestige. People seem to think that Hollywood just came into being like a cosmic accident. It’s not like Seth said anything brash about Jewish people. Where would the entertainment industry be without Jewish influence? Some of the greatest producers/ writers are Jewish, its very commendable. Nothing to be ashamed of. What the ADL considers fair play is still very questionable.

Rafel Simcha says:

SO WHAT MOVE ON Get ready for Passover.! It was funny! No doubt Of the Billion watching only ADL had to say something. I believe this is WHY people do not like JEWS a few have to start something when there is only good entertainment on hand not Nazism or that terrible!. That is Entertainment -Do not watch if it offends! They were offended too I bet when our 1st LADY gave the award for Best Picture?.Everyone plays the fool and now it is ADL”S time!

Howard says:

Is there any chance that I would be able to get people to stop using the word “anti-semetic” as a synonym for anti-Jewish? Semetic people are much more varied and numerous than Jews and not all Jews are semetic. What is wrong with anti-Jewish?

ADL – Get a life.

docnoir says:

Totally do not agree. He is offensive to the extreme and worse yet NOT FUNNY. This is my last academy awards-it has become a total waste of valuable time. It is suppose to honor not denigrate a profession.

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The ADL Responds to Seth MacFarlane

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