NBC is pulling the season finale of its Canadian import Nurses from its digital platforms amid backlash from national Jewish organizations regarding a scene they accuse of being anti-Semitic.
A network source confirmed the move Wednesday, the same day groups including the Simon Wiesenthal Center released a statement condemning the scene, in which an Orthodox Jewish patient refuses a bone graft for his leg because it would come from a “goyim leg.”
“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. In one scene, NBC has insulted and demonized religious Jews and Judaism,” it said. It added: “Overreaction? Orthodox Jews are targeted for violent hate crimes – in the city of New York, Jews are number one target of hate crimes in US; 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?”
Here’s the scene:
The NBC source said they been contacted by several national Jewish organizations and were keen to have conversations with them about the topic.
The 10-episode Canadian series was not produced by NBC but rather acquired by the network in November to fill a hole in a primetime lineup that had been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Produced by ICF Films and eOne in association with Corus Entertainment, the Toronto-set drama follows five young nurses working on the front lines of a busy downtown hospital, dedicating their lives to helping others while struggling to help themselves.
With production ramping up again in the U.S., it’s unlikely NBC would bring the show back for another season. The NBC source said there had been no plans to re-air last night’s episode, titled “Achilles Heel,” on the linear network.
The backlash comes after a Michael Che joke about Israel’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout on Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update” segment was criticized for stereotyping Israel. NBC declined comment on the reaction today.
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