The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday blasted an Oscars sketch in which potty-mouthed film star bear Ted joked about Jews in Hollywood, calling it “offensive and not remotely funny.”
The anti-Semitism watchdog said the sketch, at the 85th Academy Awards hosted by “Family Guy” and “Ted” creator Seth MacFarlane on Sunday night, was “sad and disheartening.”
“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,” said ADL national director in the US Abraham Foxman.
“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,” he said.
In the sketch during the three-hour Oscars show, the climax of Hollywood’s annual awards season, Ted mentions to onscreen buddy actor Mark Wahlberg that if “you want to work in this town” you have to be Jewish.
“For the insiders at the Oscars this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously,” said Foxman.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
In a separate row triggered by the Oscars, satirical website The Onion apologized Monday for using an offensive word to describe 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest ever best actress nominee.
“On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhane Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars,” said Onion chief Steve Hannah.
“It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting,” he wrote on his Facebook page.