(JTA) — How often do you see pop culture fixtures wearing very visible Stars of David on a big stage?
Two stars wore them, albeit for possibly different reasons, at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.
Jack Antonoff, pop music’s new “it” producer and songwriter — who is also Lena Dunham’s boyfriend, head of the band Bleachers, former guitarist in the band Fun. and a graduate of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, New Jersey — wore his in necklace form.
Antonoff, who has become a go-to collaborator for the likes of Taylor Swift and Lorde, has worn a Star of David while performing before, including at a concert a little over a week ago in California. He performed during the VMA’s pre-show and introduced Lorde later on in the night. He also accepted the award for Best Collaboration on behalf of Swift and Zayn Malik, the former One Direction member, as a co-writer for their song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”
Dunham said on Twitter that Antonoff has been wearing the Star of David in public since Nazis became a “mainstream thing again.”
Many thought the funniest moment of the show came when the camera caught Antonoff eating a banana in the audience.
Meanwhile, Nev Schulman, star of MTV’s “Catfish,” wore a yellow Star of David on his suit jacket to protest the hatred on display at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month. Billy Joel made headlines for wearing an identical yellow star, an allusion to the stars Jews were forced to wear under the Nazis, while performing in New York last week.
“Since the unbelievable display of anti-Semitism and also with the white supremacy in Charlottesville, there’s been an alarming rise of anti-Semitism across the country in the last few weeks,” Schulman told the New York Post. “It’s one thing to condemn the actions, but I think it’s important that we all visibly show like, ‘Hey, you might think it’s OK to speak negatively or to have hate towards one group, but you know people in that group, and even though you don’t realize it, we feel that.’”