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Amazon Won’t Remove Antisemitic Movie Shared by Kyrie Irving

“When you have content that actively incites or promotes violence or teaches people to do things like pedophilia, I mean, those are easy. We don’t allow those, those are straight-forward decisions.”
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December 1, 2022
Photo by lucianilasan/Deposit Photos

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said on November 30 that the platform will not remove the antisemitic movie that was infamously shared on social media by Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving.

Speaking at The New York Times DealBook Summit in Manhattan, Jassy––who is Jewish––said, per Fox News: “When you have content that actively incites or promotes violence or teaches people to do things like pedophilia, I mean, those are easy. We don’t allow those, those are straight-forward decisions.” But he argued that it is “trickier” for content that doesn’t primarily “espouse hate or ascribe negative characteristics to people.” “We have to be willing to allow access to those viewpoints even if they are objectionable and even if they differ from our personal viewpoints,” Jassy said.

The moderator, Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, who is also Jewish, objected to Jassy’s rationale, saying that he is concerned that rising antisemitism worldwide will result in violence. Jassy replied that he shared Sorkin’s concern and that the movie itself was “very objectionable” but maintained that the film needs to remain on the platform. Sorkin also asked Jassy if Amazon would put a disclaimer on the film, to which Jassy said that the company doesn’t engage in such measures and that the customer reviews will mention if there is hate speech content.

The movie in question, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up America,” promotes “claims that modern Jews are imposters who stole the religious heritage of Black people” as well as “claims of a global Jewish conspiracy to oppress and defraud Black people, allegations that Jews are in part responsible for the transatlantic slave trade and the claim that Jews falsified the history of the Holocaust in order to ‘conceal their nature and protect their status and power,’” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “If @amazon insists on selling a film that, among other things, denies the FACT that millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, it’s unconscionable not to do the bare minimum & provide a disclaimer explaining why the film is problematic & antisemitic.”

Human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky, who heads the International Legal Forum, tweeted: “Holocaust distortion and incitement to violence against Jews is not merely a ‘different viewpoint.’ It is shameful and inexcusable.”

Irving was suspended for several games but has since returned to basketball after apologizing for sharing the film.

Back in January, Amazon removed 26 films promoting Nazi propaganda. The American Jewish Committee noted this to Jassy in a tweet, telling him: “You removed neo-Nazi products from the @Amazon platform in the past, yet antisemitic books and films promoting Holocaust denial are still being sold. End this double standard. Remove these hateful products immediately.”

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