Alleged Jewish 'Control'
of the American Motion Picture Industry

New Industry, Old Charges
Conspiracy Theory Persists
Debunking the Lie

Related ADL Articles:
The International Jew
The Myth of Jewish Control of the Federal Reserve
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

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New Industry, Old Charges

By 1913, 10 million Americans were going to motion pictures every day. This rapidly growing industry provided another avenue for familiar allegations of Jewish "control" raised by anti-Semites. Yet the films made to satisfy this growing market included many so-called "Jew movies" which were produced at the rate of one every two weeks. Major producing companies, such as Universal, Keystone, Reliance, Mutual and General Film Company, were turning out productions which portrayed Jews as carnal, criminal, usurious, miserly and sly. Complaints to movie producers by the Anti-Defamation League and others fell on deaf ears. However, in 1916, a major breakthrough was achieved when Carl Laemmle, president of Universal, said that his company would no longer produce films that held Jews up to ridicule or contempt. But others continued the practice.

As late as 1921, the Dearborn Independent still proclaimed: "The motion picture influence of the United States -- and Canada -- is exclusively under the control, moral and financial, of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind." The publication asserted that "the picture business, on its commercial side, is Jewish through and through" and that "the American Public is as helpless against the films as it is against any other exaggerated expression of Jewish power." It concluded that "When the people know who and what is this intangible influence we call the 'movies,' the problem may not appear so baffling."

Next: Conspiracy Theory Persists

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This report was originally issued in September 1999.

2000 Anti-Defamation League