A Jewish professional wrestler has condemned a colleague’s adopted strictly Orthodox stage persona, which he said is “the equivalent of black face”.
Last week, David Starr, whose birth name is Max Barsky, used Facebook to draw attention to the “Hasidic Outlaw” alter-ego used by fellow professional Mathias Glass.
He also claimed that Mr Glass is not Jewish.
Mr Glass frequently posts promotional videos in which he seems to use language stereotypical of those in the strictly Orthodox community for comic effect, as well as sporting an oversized fur hat, long payot and tzitzit.
Mr Barsky wrote: “I want everyone to know that Mathias Glass is not Jewish. The stereotype driven character he portrays is offensive and distasteful. It is the equivalent of black face.
“I can make fun of myself and my people, but someone from outside the community has no right.”
Mr Barsky said he had messaged Mr Glass about the persona, and knows other Jews in wrestling who have urged him to stop.
The reaction to his Facebook post was mixed, with some social media users expressing sympathy, while others pointed out that exaggerated characters are a staple of professional wrestling.
On Sunday Mr Glass tweeted: “I find myself pulling back on some of the stereotypical stuff … but to the chagrin of many many Jewish fans, friends, and fellow wrestlers. I’m constantly evolving, constantly learning, and always willing to listen to constructive criticism.”