Norwegian Public Broadcaster Keeps Antisemitic ‘Jewish Swine’ Cartoon Online Despite Protests
A grossly antisemitic cartoon recently broadcast on Norway’s public NRK channel was still available online on Monday, despite dozens of complaints from viewers.
The cartoon — uploaded to NRK‘s ‘Humor” channel on YouTube on July 16, where it has received more than 50,000 views — showed an elderly orthodox Jewish man and a younger man sitting in a park while playing the word game “Scrabble.”
The young man’s seven letters make the word “Jodesvin” — Norwegian for “Jewish swine,” an antisemitic insult — but he is reluctant to play it. Unable to find a different word, the young man is then taunted by the Jewish man for his lack of playing skill.
Many of the complaints directed at NRK expressed regret that the channel continued to be a publicly-funded broadcaster.
“This is antisemitism and not funny at all,” one comment reported by the Aftenposten news outlet read. “That we are required to pay for NRK in 2020 is cruel.”
Another commenter declared: “This is racism against Jews! It isn’t satire and it isn’t funny!”
Socialist politician Eivind Træda slammed the video as “idiotic.”
“Not sure I get the humor here — that Jews don’t like being called ‘swine?’ Idiotic joke,” Træda declared on Facebook.
Jewish blogger and political commentator Suzanne Aabel charged that NRK had invoked the insidious stereotype of the “Jewish swine” as “a fat, fussy, derogatory and self-confident (but stupid) idiot.”
NRK’s entertainment editor Charlo Halvorsen attempted to defend the cartoon in an interview with Aftenposten. “The Scrabble player made an indecent and indefensible word that we can’t and shouldn’t use,” he explained. “But he’s tempted to win.”
The cartoon drew a thumbs-up from Norway’s far-right Alliance Party, whose leader, Hans Lysglimt Johansen, is known for inflammatory racist and antisemitic statements that include Holocaust denial.
“Haha, the election campaign is underway…Norway First!” the party’s Facebook page declared in a post that linked to the offending cartoon.