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More Questions Than Answers in Airing of ‘Nurses’ Blood Libel Episode

The fallout continues from NBC’s airing of an episode of Nurses, which portrayed Orthodox Jews in a very negative and inaccurate light, with a co-producer and distributor of the show apologizing for the episode.

Nurses episodeAn episode of the Canadian drama Nurses where a character who is an Orthodox Jew refuses a bone graft operation has been dropped by NBC and Global TV after stirring up controversy Stateside over its religious storyline.

“It’s important that we address the recent feedback we’ve received related to the portrayal of Jewish beliefs in the ‘Achilles Heel’ episode of our series Nurses. We take matters of this nature very seriously and deeply regret all inaccuracies related to religious beliefs as well as the negative portrayal of any religious community in our content, characters and storylines,” Entertainment One, a co-producer and distributor on the Toronto-set Nurses drama, said in a statement obtained by Cartt.ca late Wednesday night about the episode.

“We sincerely apologize to the Jewish community, our viewers and series fans, and are working to understand what transpired and ensure our research practices are exhaustive moving forward and lead only to well-informed storylines,” eOne added.

While I welcome the apology, I am still flabbergasted this got past everyone. Medical dramas of this kind require extensive research, at least on the medical side of things. The fact they did not bother to apply the same level of research in portraying practicing Jews is  alarming. And that is assuming accidental and not deliberate misrepresentation, which would of course be even more unforgivable.

One of the executive producers of Nurses is Ilana Frank, who I heavily suspect is Jewish herself. She is the ex-wife of the late actor Maurice Chaykin, who was definitely Jewish. How she did not intervene or say anything is also beyond me.

And to add another layer of WTF to this monumental screw-up, it should never have made it to being aired on NBC to begin with.

The string of Nurses droppings has come after the “Achilles Heel” episode, which aired in Canada last year without viewer complaints, stirred controversy stateside after NBC played the season one finale on February 23rd.

B’nai Brith Canada in a February 24 statement said the episode’s inaccurate plot line “perpetuates false and dangerous anti-Semitic stereotypes” as Jewish law stipulates saving a life via an organ donation “takes precedence over all other considerations and religious commandments.”

Where were the Jewish organizations in Canada last year when it first aired? Why did B’nai Brith Canada only now – following the post-NBC airing uproar – say anything?

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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