Allison Josephs did a piece for Jew In The City called “NBC Needs To Apologize For Their Libelous Portrayal of Hasidic Jews In ‘Nurses.'”
She explains how the episode portrayed the Hasidic Jewish characters as backward, hateful, and refusing to accept medical help, pointing out the inaccuracies as she goes.
The article ends with a call to action, “Hasidic Jews are being attacked in the streets with greater frequency every single day. Do better, Hollywood, at not constructing pernicious lies that endanger our community.
Jew in the City is planning an upcoming event in Manhattan to promote education and accurate coverage of Orthodox Jews in the media.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center seconds Josephs comment on the danger of media encouraging anti-Semitism in The Hollywood Reporter:
“The writers of this scene check all the boxes of ignorance and pernicious negative stereotypes right down to the name of the patient, Israel — payouts [sidelocks] and all … In one scene, NBC has insulted and demonized religious Jews and Judaism.”
“Orthodox Jews are targeted for violent hate crimes in the city of New York. Jews are [the] number one target of hate crimes in the U.S. This is no slip of the tongue. It was a vile, cheap attack masquerading as TV drama. What’s NBC going to do about it?”
NBC is having a rough time of it in regards to anti-Semitism.
One of the comedians on Saturday Night Live, Michael Che, recently made a joke on the show at the Jewish community’s expense.
Of course, Nurses isn’t actually an original NBC production. It’s a Canadian show that NBC picked up to fill airspace due to the pandemic.
Some Jews wonder why this wasn’t brought to anyone’s attention when the episode originally aired in Canada back in February of 2020.
Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, said, “The disturbing stereotypes present in this episode of Nurses are deeply damaging to Jews, especially Orthodox practitioners,”
He said they want to hold the producers accountable, “All of this could have been avoided if producers had thought to consult members of the Orthodox Jewish community before depicting them in this false and slanderous light.”
In response to this outrage, NBC has pulled the episode from all digital platforms and canceled all future airings.
NBC is in contact with multiple Jewish groups, but they have no plans to issue a statement.
It’s sad it had to come to this, especially because the rest of the episode was decent and included significant scenes regarding the progression of the season’s arc for the character, Grace Knight.
I rated the episode pretty low because of the offensive portrayal, but I noticed that many of our readers rated it higher.
I’d love it if you could drop a note in the comments about why that is and if your opinion has changed.
Do you think NBC should have pulled the episode?
How do you think the network, and the show, can address this moving forward?
Let me know what you think by commenting below.
Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..