Bad Jews poster banned from Tube by TFL

By Josh Jackman, March 6, 2015
This image was used on the banned poster

This image was used on the banned poster

Posters advertising the hit play ‘Bad Jews’ have been banned from Tube stations by Transport for London.

TfL said it was responding to "a few complaints" from customers, and followed its rule that adverts can be removed if they are “likely to cause widespread or serious offence to members of the public”.

But the Advertising Standards Authority said the posters - which show characters fighting above the name of the play – are neither offensive or inflammatory.

And the Board of Deputies has no problem with them.

"Bad Jews", which has sold out London’s St. James Theatre and was awarded five stars by the JC, tells the story of two antagonistic cousins coming together to mourn their grandfather’s passing.

Producer Danny Moar rejected the ban. He said that the advert “could not be less antisemitic” and called on the TfL to reinstate it.

“Half the cast are Jewish, I’m Jewish, the writer [Joshua Harmon] is Jewish and the word ‘bad’ in the title, in so far as it matters, doesn’t mean ‘evil’ - it means ‘non-observant.’

“This is a form of censorship which is so weird and ironic when, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo events, everyone marched against censorship.

“It won’t cripple the show but we want it to be seen by as many people as possible and we’re being prevented from trying to achieve that.”

The Board said: “We are happy that TfL is sensitive to antisemitism in the light of the recent terror attacks in Europe, and it is probably a good thing that they err on the side of caution.

“However, in this particular case we don’t have a problem with the advert.”

In a statement, a TfL spokesperson said: “The advert ‘Bad Jews’ was previously displayed on our network as our advertising contractor approved it without consulting us.

“It was subsequently submitted for display again and has been rejected as it contravened our advertising policy which states that adverts will not be approved if they may cause widespread or serious offence.”

Last updated: 12:51pm, March 6 2015