TV Show Host Wears Yellow Star of David Badge, Co-Star Sports ‘Jew’ T-Shirt at 2017 MTV Video Music Awards
A television show host and his co-star made bold fashion and political statements on Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Yaniv “Nev” Schulman, the Jewish-American host and executive producer of the MTV series “Catfish,” attended the awards ceremony wearing a yellow Star of David badge — which Jews were forced to wear during World War II in Nazi-occupied parts of Europe — alongside a heart symbol on his suit jacket. The move came days after singer Billy Joel also sported a yellow Star of David during a concert in New York City.
Schulman, 32, told the New York Post’s Page Six that he chose to wear the Star of David because of the “alarming rise of antisemitism across the country in the last few weeks.” He told the publication, “Since the unbelievable display of antisemitism and also with the white supremacy in Charlottesville … People who somehow now think it’s OK to vandalize synagogues or in Boston, someone smashed the Holocaust memorial. It’s scary because we can’t live in a country that allows for this hatred to be displayed on a regular basis without some kind of show on the other side.”
Schulman continued, “It’s one thing to condemn the actions, but I think it’s important that we all visibly show like, ‘Hey, you might think it’s OK to speak negatively or to have hate towards one group, but you know people in that group, and even though you don’t realize it, we feel that.’”
Shulman’s wife, Laura Perlongo, also donned a heart badge on her shirt as she walked the red carpet with her husband on Sunday night. She said of her decision to wear the badge: “If the only thing young people see is antisemitism and nothing, then antisemitism seems like this big OK thing, when in reality, that’s a very small, vocal minority. We need to become the vocal majority and say, ‘No, that’s not OK.’ There are plenty of Jewish people that are out there and it’s about love. We need to display that.”
Also making a statement, Schulman’s “Catfish” Jewish co-star Max Joseph wore a T-shirt with the word “Jew” on it to the MTV VMAs.