L.A. Jewish Journal editor defends Seth MacFarlane
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L.A. Jewish Journal editor defends Seth MacFarlane

Oscars host Seth MacFarlane has been getting hammered over his off-color jokes Sunday night, with the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center raising objections over this Jews-run-Hollywood gag:

Rob Eshman, editor and publisher of the L.A. Jewish Journal, says relax:

I found these reactions more annoying than MacFarlane’s comments, which varied from the very funny to the remotely funny, but never came close to anti-semitism. 

Seth MacFarlane was joking. He was poking fun. He was mocking the widespread understanding that Jews are disproportionately represented in the entertainment business. This fact comes as a shock to exactly no one, and the idea that joking about it “feeds” anti-semitism misunderstands both the nature of humor and of anti-semitism.

One thing humor does well, even better than press releases, is diffuse prejudice. It does that through mockery, exaggeration and sometimes by just bringing prejudice to light.

Click here for Eshman’s full column. And check out this JTA op-ed from political science professor Peter Dreier for more from the MacFarlane-crossed-the-line camp.