Jewish Professional Wrestler Calls Out Fellow Athlete for ‘Distasteful’ Hasidic Jew Gimmick
Jewish professional wrestler David Starr blasted a performer and fellow athlete last week for dressing up as a Hasidic Jew to gain attention and for comedic effect.
Starr said on Facebook on Thursday that the “stereotype-driven character” portrayed by wrestler Mathias Glass – who calls himself “The Most Jewish Man Alive” and “The Hasidic Outlaw” – is “offensive and distasteful.” He believes Glass’ gimmick is the “equivalent of blackface” and asked his social media followers, “Imagine me painting my face black and acting as a black character that was completely stereotypically driven. How would you react? How would the public react?”
Starr, whose real name is is Max Barsky, added: “I’ve messaged him about this before and I know he’s been told by many Jewish people within wrestling to change his gimmick due to the bigoted nature of it. Prior to finding out that he wasn’t Jewish, I thought the schtick was entertaining. I don’t necessarily like stereotype-driven gimmicks in general, but this was clearly a self-deprecating (at least I thought it self-deprecating) comedic style. I am not a no fun, sensitive snowflake type. I can make fun of myself and my people, but someone from outside the community has no right.”
Starr also expressed frustration at those who responded to his posts by defending Glass’ Orthodox Jewish persona. The angry athlete wrote on Facebook, “WHY IS ANTISEMITISM BEING ACCEPTED?! Kinda disgusts me… Sad state of affairs we are in. My faith in humanity has been pretty much torn to bits.”
Glass – whose Facebook page is filled with photos of him dressed as a Hasidic Jew – responded to Starr’s comments by claiming that he is Jewish and thanking his fans for continuing to support him. On Saturday he posted on Facebook a video of him again dressed as a religious Jewish man while walking beside someone in a Santa Claus costume, and on Sunday he wrote on Twitter: “I find myself pulling back on some of the stereotypical stuff… but to the chagrin of many many Jewish fans, friends and fellow wrestlers. I’m constantly evolving, constantly learning and always willing to listen to constructive criticism.”