American Jewish Committee urges Amazon to pull antisemitic film Kyrie Irving promoted

Amazon is facing public pressure to stop selling a film that has been widely described as antisemitic and riddled with conspiracy theories.

The 2018 film, titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” and based on a 2014 book of the same name, claims that Jewish people dominated the slave trade and that the Holocaust never happened. 

Earlier this week, NBA player Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to the film. His team, the Brooklyn Nets, then suspended him for at least five games. Irving has since deleted the tweet and, following widespread condemnation in the media and by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, apologized for promoting the film.

The American Jewish Committee, one of the nation’s largest Jewish organizations, has now launched a petition urging Amazon to remove the film from the e-commerce platform. 

“Amazon has a critical role to play in ensuring Americans do not consume hate-filled propaganda and misinformation,” the petition reads. “We are grateful that, as recently as January of this year, Amazon removed more than twenty Nazi propaganda films and other antisemitic content to stop the spread of hate. We urge you to swiftly take action and remove this film and book from your platform.”

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As of Friday, the three-hour movie is available on Amazon for $40 and can be rented for $11. The book, which is on sale for $35, is a currently the No. 1 seller in Amazon’s religion and spirituality category. 

Ted Deutch, American Jewish Committee’s CEO, tweeted on Friday that the film is “now on Amazon’s bestseller lists.”

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Other public figures are also questioning why Amazon is marketing the film.

“Where’s that same attention and energy for the platform that is promoting it and profiting off it,” Jay Williams, a NBA analyst for ESPN, said Wednesday. “I don’t hear any of that talk around Jeff Bezos and Amazon.”

After being slow to condemn the film, which earned him the five-game suspension, Irving posted a lengthy apology on Instagram Friday. 

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“I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” he wrote, in part. “I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all.”




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