The Anti-Defamation League is launching a new offshoot in Hollywood, the Media & Entertainment Institute, to help battle stereotypes of Jews in movies and television that may fuel rising antisemitism.
The center wants engage directly with industry leaders “to improve societal perceptions of Jewish people and understanding of antisemitism,” the group said today.
“At a time of rising antisemitism, we must take a hard look at how Jews are portrayed on screen and in culture more broadly,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.“We know that many Americans only learn about Jews and Judaism through the media, and many say they have encountered antisemitic comments or tropes from movies, TV and pop culture.”
The venture will be formally announced tonight at a dinner at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in LA.
“The entertainment industry was once known as a safe harbor for Jews. That is no longer true. There’s been an alarming rise in antisemitism within our professional ranks, industry organizations and in our art forms,” said Modi Wiczyk, co-founder & CEO of MRC and a member of ADL’s Entertainment Leadership Council.
“There’s never been a more pressing need for ADL’s Media & Entertainment Institute to step into this void and to engage directly with industry leaders on these issues. I stand ready to support them in any way I can.”
Housed within ADL and based in Los Angeles, the group wants to engage directly with industry leaders “to improve societal perceptions of Jewish people and understanding of antisemitism” and “advocate for content that illustrates the full diversity of Jewish life and the nuanced characters that Jews embody, to offer a well-rounded portrayal of Jewish culture, religion and history.” It will publish research, establish best practices and develop partnerships with other advocacy organizations, the first being Common Sense Media.
The ADL was recently threated with a lawsuit by Elon Musk after it noted attacks against it on X, formerly Twitter, by “antisemites, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and other trolls.” It said the onslaught followed “our participation in the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, where ADL proudly marched shoulder-to-shoulder with African-American leaders and those from other minority communities. It also follows a meeting with the leadership of X, formerly known as Twitter, that clearly upset these hateful groups.”
Musk early last week accused the ADL of depressing X’s advertising revenue. He claimed early last week, without presenting evidence, that ad sales were down 60% “primarily due to pressure on advertisers by @ADL”. He said the group “has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic.”
On Friday, an X blog post described “its ongoing commitment to combat antisemitism” on the platform.
The ADL responded: “The words are good but, ultimately, actions speak louder than words. ADL will continue our work of monitoring both hateful actors on the platform and X’s enforcement of its own policies, just as we do with other major social media platforms. We will credit them if we see that they get it right and we will reserve the right to hold them accountable if they get it wrong. As we have said repeatedly, we remain committed to doing what we can to help X be a healthier and safer platform for all of its users.”