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What Movie Kyrie Promoted: Amazon Still Sells The Antisemitic Film That Resulted In Kyrie Irving’s Suspension

What Movie Kyrie Promoted
What Movie Kyrie Promoted

What Movie Kyrie Promoted: Last week, the Brooklyn Nets suspended star Kyrie Irving for sharing an antisemitic documentary and book on social media. Since then, both the NBA team and Anti-Defamation League have demanded Amazon be held accountable as well.

On Friday, The Anti-Defamation League sent Amazon a letter on behalf of itself and the Nets demanding that “virulently antisemitic book and related video” either be removed from their marketplace or come with context explaining why these works are problematic.

“The book and film are designed to inflame hatred, which, with Mr. Irving’s endorsement, will directly lead to the harm of Jews,” read a letter seen by The Washington Post which was copied for publication.

“These views aren’t simply different perspectives on history; they are outright antisemitic hate. They amplify longstanding antisemitic tropes about Jewish power, greed, and claims that Jews control the media.”

The American Jewish Committee also asked its supporters to join them in pressuring Amazon to “reaffirm its commitment to combat antisemitism by eliminating this anti-Jewish swill.”

Amazon did not reply to The Post’s questions regarding the future of books and documentaries on its website (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Post).

“Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” from 2014 and the 2018 documentary of the same name are still both listed as “Best Sellers” on Amazon, though neither currently comes with a disclaimer regarding harmful content.

Two weeks ago, Irving tweeted about the film to his 4.6 million followers. He quickly deleted it but refused to apologize for it for a week until posting an apology on Instagram on Thursday.

As a result, the Nets suspended him for at least five games and Nike ended their partnership with him; additionally, The Anti-Defamation League turned down his offer of $500,000 for anti-hate causes.

Alvin H. Rosenfeld, director of the Center for Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and professor at Indiana University, observed that “the book has become very popular due to this news”. “All sellers, including Amazon,” he added, “have seen a surge in sales.” It’s “very ugly.”

He believes Amazon could continue selling the book with a disclaimer that clearly states its nature. Furthermore, he suggested that Amazon donate its profits from both the book and documentary to organizations fighting hate speech.

“To profit from such an offensive book” is irresponsible,” he declared.

Matt Boxer, assistant research professor in the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis University, noted that this book is not the only antisemitic book being sold on Amazon.

Boxer noted that the website still sells copies of Adolf Hitler’s classic work “Mein Kampf.” She stressed that she wasn’t talking about a scholarly edition but the original publication.

Rosenfeld is teaching Hitler’s book and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” to his students this semester, emphasizing the importance of studying selected chapters from these texts and engaging in meaningful discussion around them.

Rosenfeld said the book Irving promoted is nothing more than “a recycling of old hateful ideas.” It contains numerous antisemitic accusations which have been disproven numerous times, according to him.

According to the ADL’s letter, 2,717 antisemitic incidents were documented across America in 2021 – a 34 percent increase from 2020. FBI hate-crime reports have also confirmed an uptick in violence and bigotry against Jews, it noted.

Last year, shortly after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Amazon removed “The Turner Diaries” from its virtual shelves. This 1978 novel depicts a group of white supremacists who attempt to overthrow the government by seizing control of the Capitol.

Even before “The Turner Diaries” was taken off Amazon, there was a disclaimer regarding its racist content included.

Boxer noted that while it is important to protect private companies’ right to sell products as they see fit, freedom of speech does not ensure immunity from consequences. Booksellers would have to deal with the repercussions of what their books contain.

“Antisemitism has seen a major resurgence,” he noted, noting that people with such beliefs feel less emboldened to express them publicly.

Boxer contends that Amazon’s screening process for books and documentaries fails to identify products containing hate speech. “Amazon appears not to possess the knowledge or resources required to recognize when a book is toxic,” he said. “To them, all books are simply products meant for sale.”

Amazon Studios’ website states that they promote free speech and require all titles to go through manual and automated reviews before making a licensing decision.

The guidelines state that “movies or scripts should not promote bigotry or hatred as a whole, and we do not permit movies, scripts, reviews or other content that is nothing but hate speech

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