As I prepared my last post and read articles on why people are justifying gay romance on kids movies, one theme, and more specifically one word, keeps coming up: representation.

I’ve seen this a lot.  Whenever a movie with an obviously engineered “cast of diverse characters” comes out, or an existing franchise has established characters replaced with diverse characters, you see the word representation used.

I’ve read countless OpEds why it’s so important that the next James Bond, Superman, The Doctor, or whomever is a black transgender non-binary disabled lesbian, just so the writer can feel representation in the movies.

I have to say, I have only once, sort of, seen myself represented in a movie or on TV.

But J.Kb, how can you say that?  There are lots of white and Jewish male characters on TV.

Easy, none of them represented me, except make one.  And he wasn’t played by a Jewish actor.

I hate just about every Jewish character I’ve ever seen.

To the man they are weak, sickly, nerdy, awkward, Jewey characters.

They are every stereotype of the pushover Jewish guy who lives with his mom, or surrogate mom wife, is a boneless as a gifilte fish, and is so sickly he’s taken out by a glass of milk.

If you watch movies, every Jewish man is a five-foot five-inch, hen-picked accountant from NYC with an inhaler.

That’s not me not do I want it to be.

There are many Jewish actors in Hollywood who don’t fit this stereotype.

James Caan

Harvey Kitel

Oded Fehr

Mandy Patinkin

Ron Perlman

But they never play Jewish characters.

(Singlular exception being Kitel very recently playing Meyer Lansky.)

The only Jewish character I ever identified with was Walter Sobchak.

A fat, bearded Jewish guy with anger issues, a penchant for carry vest and cargo shorts, who drives a full size van, and packs a 1911.

That’s pretty much me.

And he was played by the not Jewish John Goodman.

So maybe I’ll start to care more about representation when ever representation of what is supposed to be me isn’t a grotesque and offensive caricature.

 

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By J. Kb

8 thoughts on “On seeing myself represented in movies and on TV”
  1. Its hollywierd tryin to be new and “trendy🤮🤮🤮. They aint made a good movie in centuries.. Its sad. And they would be offended by any Mel Brooks movie..

  2. To be fair, Walter was a convert to Judaism- and was an affectionate parody of the Cohen’s friend John Milius.

  3. Tevye could work too. Just a guy trying to manage life and the cap that it throws at him without losing it.

  4. There is Liev Schreiber, who is Jewish, who played Zus Bielski in the 2008 movie- Defiance. A story of Jewish brothers who save over 1000 non-combatants and join the resistance against the Nazi occupation of Poland. The movie is an OK watch, not great, but you also get to see a Pre-Bond Daniel Craig playing the oldest brother.

  5. “…packs a 1911”. C’mon, J. He has terrible trigger finger discipline. We know that you’re better than that!

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