New York, NY, October 17, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said that today's mea culpa by New Republic Senior Editor Gregg Easterbrook for his anti-Semitic writings on the Hollywood film industry was "insufficient," and called on Easterbrook and the magazine to make a clear statement of apology. The League responded after Easterbrook published "An Apology" on the New Republic's Web site, where he characterized his original remarks as a "poor wording."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We expect more from The New Republic. Gregg Easterbrook's mea culpa is insufficient. It's a rationalization. There is no excuse for bringing religion into a discussion about greed and the film industry. Greed is a human frailty. Money is not only colorless, it is faithless.
By injecting religion into his criticism about the film industry – in his identifying Harvey Weinstein of Miramax and Michael Eisner of Disney as Jewish – Mr. Easterbrook summons up classic stereotypes that Jews are greedy, money-grubbing and morally deficient. His column feeds into the classic canard of "Jewish control" of Hollywood, a charge that has led to blaming Jews for contributing to the general decline of society through their "control" of popular culture.
Sadly, instead of making a clear apology and a rejection of anti-Semitic stereotypes, Mr. Easterbrook says he "wrote poorly" and was misunderstood. Mr. Easterbrook's remarks reflect either absolute ignorance or total bigotry. We find it hard to fathom that a senior editor at The New Republic could have absolutely no knowledge of the hateful canards about greed and Jewish moneylenders that have contributed to two-thousand years of persecution against the Jewish people.