Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy is under fire for the use of antisemitic undertones in a few situations throughout the series – primarily for its depiction of an underground society of “lizard people” who control the world from the shadows, and a Yiddish-speaking handler who was implied to be Jewish in the series.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews previously penned an open letter denouncing the series; however, the show reintroduced the character and her haphazard use of the Yiddish language in the following season.
From The Jerusalem Post:
The “lizard people” conspiracy theory in its own is deeply rooted in antisemitic tropes, and has been championed by David Icke, who was a successful sports reporter for BBC until the 1990s, during which he released a series of books in which he explained his views, including conspiracies surrounding The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and that planet Earth is controlled by shape-shifting lizards he calls the “Babylonian Brotherhood.” Icke is well known in the UK for his outlandish ideas.
“The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organization which controls the world’s timeline is clearly an antisemitic trope,” Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Amanda Bowman told the Sun newspaper following the open letter. “Whether intentional or not, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing. Netflix should take action to remove the racism from this scene.”
WIBC host Tony Katz commented on the controversy Thursday morning:
“I’m here to tell everybody that thinks this character is somehow an antiSemite because the character speaks some Yiddish is absolutely daft, ridiculous, and wrong. It’s okay. Stop looking for things to be wrong!”
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