Oscars host Seth MacFarlane has been strongly criticised by US Jewish groups after an “offensive” sketch created by the screenwriter was performed at the awards.
Mr MacFarlane’s sketch, which involved the stars of his 2012 hit film ‘Ted’ - Mark Wahlberg and Ted himself, a stuffed bear - referred to “secret synagogue meetings” and featured Ted telling Mr Wahlberg that if “you want to work in this town” [Hollywood], you have to be Jewish.
Abraham Foxman, director of the New York based Anti-Defamation League, said the jokes “reinforce stereotypes which legitimise antisemitism”.
He said: “For the insiders at the Oscars this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously. But when one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre released a statement saying the sketch was “unfortunate” given that the Oscars are viewed around the world, even in “such places where such hateful myths are believed as fact”.