The Anti-Defamation League today released a statement criticizing a sketch from Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony in which host Seth MacFarlane’s character “Ted,” an animated bear, tells actor Mark Wahlberg that if “you want to work in this town” you have to be Jewish.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
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. 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.
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.
We wish that Mr. MacFarlane and the Academy Awards producers had shown greater sensitivity and decided against airing a sketch that so reinforces the age-old canard about Jewish control of the film industry.”
The skit caught the attention of at least one high profile Jewish media personality: Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted “Oh, great, an anti-Semitic talking bear,” immediately after the sketch aired.