- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 25, 2021

NBC is pulling the season finale of its medical drama “Nurses” after receiving a wave of backlash from the Jewish community over allegations it used “Jew-face” and perpetuated anti-Semitic stereotypes.

NBC sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the episode was pulled from all digital platforms and canceled from future airings. The network is in conversations with various Jewish groups on how to proceed but has no plans to issue a statement condemning the episode, THR reported.

The episode titled “Achilles Heel” aired Feb. 9 and features a young Orthodox Jew named Israel who refuses a bone graft with tissue from a deceased donor’s leg.

“You want to put a dead leg inside of me?” Israel asks the doctor.

“A dead goyim leg — from anyone? An Arab? A woman?” his father adds.

A nurse then scoffs, “Or, God forbid, an Arab woman.”

Israel,” the doctor says, “without this next step, you will never walk properly again.”

“It’s God who heals what he creates,” Israel responds.

There are no restrictions in Orthodox Judaism regarding transplants from cadavers, THR reported.

The scene sparked a wave of condemnation after Jew in the City founder Allison Josephs resurfaced the clip on Twitter. Seffi Kogen, global director of Young Leadership for the American Jewish Committee, accused the series of using “Jew-face.”

“I think this is the most antisemitic thing I have ever seen in a TV show,” Mr. Kogen tweeted. “For those of you unfamiliar with Jewish law, which puts precedent on healing and saving lives, there is no prohibition on the kind of bone graft in this clip. The writers made it up, dressed their actors in Jew-face, and put random extremist nonsense in their mouths.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a statement Wednesday slamming the scene as a “vile, cheap attack masquerading as TV drama.”

“The writers of this scene check all the boxes of ignorance and pernicious negative stereotypes, right down to the name of the patient, Israel — paiyous and all,” the statement read.

The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement that the Jewish character’s “hateful remarks” about “an Arab, a woman” are “gratuitous and inflammatory, and only validates longstanding antisemitic stereotypes.”

“In Jewish law, anything that is potentially lifesaving or health-preserving is not only permitted but indeed mandated,” the group said. “Unfortunately, myths about Jewish religious beliefs and practices are far-too commonplace, and this episode only serves to amplify such longstanding misperceptions about Jews.”

According to Deadline, the 10-episode Canadian series was acquired by NBC in November to fill a hole in a prime-time lineup created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is unlikely to return for another season now that production is resuming.

NBC faced similar allegations of anti-Semitism over the weekend after Michael Che joked about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout on “Saturday Night Live.”

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