MEDIA RELEASES

AIJAC thanks Foxtel for agreeing to remove offensive episode of drama program

Mar 4, 2021 | AIJAC

(Credit: NBCUniversal)
(Credit: NBCUniversal)

 

Australian media streaming service Binge has agreed to withdraw an episode of the Canadian drama “Nurses, which spread false and dangerous antisemitic stereotypes.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) contacted Foxtel, owner of Binge, with concerns about the portrayal of Jewish characters in “Nurses. In less than a week, Foxtel alerted AIJAC that the episode will be taken down.

“AIJAC thanks Foxtel, owner of Binge, for its swift and appropriate action,” said Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of AIJAC.

“In committing to take down the episode, Foxtel has demonstrated it is serious about preventing the spread of antisemitism via its TV programs.”

“Australia’s Jewish community is a fraction of the total Australian population, and many Australians do not have daily interaction with Jewish people.

“For some Australians, the portrayal of Jewish characters and the Jewish faith on TV shows is their only point of contact with the Jewish people or Judaism. For that reason, it is vital that Jewish people are presented in all their diversity, but not in a way that is false, gratuitous or inflammatory.”

Ten episodes of “Nurses” are available to Binge subscribers. AIJAC’s concern surrounded episode eight, titled “Achilles Heel”. In this episode, health professionals raise the prospect of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man requiring a bone graft. It then shows the patient recoil in horror as he, and another ultra-Orthodox man, consider the possibility the graft may come from an “Arab” or a “woman”.

This portrayal is completely anathema to core beliefs of the Jewish faith, which prioritises saving human lives over almost every other consideration.

Following the airing of this episode on NBC in the United States, a number of Jewish groups expressed concern that episode eight contained scenes that spread false and damaging antisemitic stereotypes. AIJAC shared those concerns with Binge management, who swiftly committed to remove the episode from the Australian streaming service, in line with similar actions taken by media outlets in the United States and Canada.

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