Netflix’s popular television show The Umbrella Academy has been accused of anti-Semitism by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The Umbrella Academy, which is adapted from the Dark Horse Comic by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, features an organization known as the Commission. The Commission attempts to control the timeline in order to ensure the destruction of the world.
In the final episode, the head of the Commission speaks Yiddish, which is the cause for the show being labeled anti-semitic.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President Amanda Bowman spoke to The Sun, “The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organisation which controls the world’s timeline is clearly an antisemitic trope.”
Bowman would add, “Whether intentional or not, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing. Netflix should take action to remove the racism from this scene.”
Bowman is not the only one who claims the scene is antisemitic. Author of the The Girl with the Red Balloon Katherine Locke also decried the show.
“There’s an antisemitic conspiracy theory that there’s a secret cabal of Jews controlling or manipulating the world. This conspiracy theory has fuelled antisemites for a long time, and frequently results in violence. This scene played right into that. And I think the important part here is: some people will brush this scene off. A lot of people didn’t even see it.”
Locke would continue:
“But there are two groups of people who will see it, and whom I believe are meant to see it: Jewish viewers, and antisemites. It felt like a dog whistle and a warning all in one. I don’t know who wrote the scene, or who added it, or if they knew what they were doing. It’s entirely possible that they didn’t know what they were writing. But that just goes to show how deeply embedded some of these antisemitic ideas are in our society.”
In the Umbrella Academy: Dallas, Hazel and Cha-cha are seen wearing Nazi uniforms suggesting the Commission or the Temps Aeternalis as they are called in the comics is a Nazi organization.
However, other members of the organization are not seen wearing Nazi symbols. It’s possible Hazel and Cha-cha might be former Nazi soldiers that were plucked from the time stream in the comics.
As for the actual Yiddish used in the final episode, the Handler translates it to mean “The eggs think they’re smarter than the chicken.” The phrase is used by the Handler who is berating both Hazel and Cha-cha for failing to kill Five. In fact, Five had actually sent a false message to both Hazel and Cha-cha that they believed was from the Handler. After lecturing the two assassins, the Handler gives them a new assignment.
What do you make of these accusations that Netflix’s Umbrella Academy is anti-semitic?