With a star-studded cast that includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eddie Murphy, Netflix’s You People has a conventional plot: a Jewish man and a black woman plan to marry, their respective families meet, cultural differences and mutual prejudices come to the fore, and comedy ensues. But, writes Allison Josephs, the film fails to be funny, trivializes the Holocaust, and lets the notion that Jews grew rich from the slave trade go unquestioned. Worse still, in Joseph’s view, is that every character “loves Black culture and no one in the film loves Jewish culture. In fact, they hate it.” She adds:
[I]n You People, Jews are not considered a marginalized group. Instead, they are white, rich, privileged, and responsible for the suffering of marginalized people in the world.
Through several examples, we see that Ezra, [the Jewish suitor], is a pathological liar. He pretends to know neighborhoods and songs he doesn’t know; he claims that he doesn’t do cocaine, but then we meet his cocaine dealer (who notes that he’s a “mensch”—is the dealer Jewish too?). . . . We also know that Ezra has . . . hired prostitutes. Ezra is a lying, degenerate, drug-doing Jew.
In this movie, only Black people and never Jewish people face [discrimination and bigotry]. What do Jews face instead? Connections. Jewish connections. Ezra has a family friend: Rick Greenwald. Rick is a Jew who is connected. He gets other Jews jobs and now he can get one for Amira, [Ezra’s beloved]. But she has too much pride. Unlike the Jews, who have always been privileged, Amira had to work for everything she has!
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