Acknowledgement of Antisemitism in The Umbrella Academy

Acknowledgement of Antisemitism in The Umbrella Academy

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Maia Perl started this petition to Netflix

In recent weeks Netflix has been very proactive in removing sensitive content that may be deemed offensive.

The Umbrella Academy is a Netflix original, currently airing its second season.  The antagonists of the story is a global, time travelling organisation with the intention of World domination and ending the World.  The main villain, the leader called “The Handler”, who is multi lingual, has in both seasons spoken in the Yiddish language.  Yiddish means “Jewish”. It is the Judeo-German language of ethnic Ashkenazi Jews which is now mostly only spoken by Orthodox Haredi Jews (less than 200,000 people).  Quote from Season 1 Episode 10 “We have an old saying at the “commision” “di eyer vile zayn liger fun di hiner”.  Of course neither of you speak Yiddish.  Fine.  I’ll translate.  It means “The eggs think they’re smarter than the chicken””.  The viewer could easily conclude that Commission is run by Jews.

Jews have suffered thousands of years of false propaganda hate.  One of the most compelling is “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” Published in 1903 it describes a Jewish plan for global domination, written to blame Jews for all the ills of the World and it is gaining popularity today as anti semitism is on the rise.

During the first season in 2019 this problem was called out by the Board of Deputies of British Jews who wrote in an open letter “The Umbrella Academy plays to the conspiracy theory of global Jewish domination.  The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organisation which control’s the world’s timeline is clearly an antisemitic trope.  Whether intentional of not, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing.  Netflix should take action to remove the racism from this scene.”

Season 2 aired on July 31 2020.  Despite the backlash in Season 1, The Handler has continued to speak Yiddish, reinforcing the likelihood she is Jewish.  There are also references to Lizard People running the world.  The belief there are Lizard People controlling the world was first put forward by David Icke and has been picked up by Antisemites who say Lizard People are the Jews.

In recent days many media outlets have picked up on the worrying anti semitic tropes as it no longer seems to be an oversight.  Netflix has yet to comment or act on this.

We ask for an apology from Netflix and the creators of the Umbrella Academy TV series for not being sensitive to Jewish, very real fears, of antisemitism.  Also to include a statement before each episode in both seasons and to ensure such tropes are not included in future seasons.

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