Anti-Defamation League Calls Article 'Tasteless'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO’s hit show “Girls,” is facing criticism for an article she penned for the New Yorker magazine.

The article is a quiz entitled “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend.”

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It lists a number of statements and asks readers to identify which of the two they refer to.

Among the statements that are drawing criticism are “He doesn’t tip and he never brings his wallet anywhere,” “In fact, he has hair all over his body, like most males who share his background,” “In addition, he is openly hostile toward the Hasidic community, focusing most of his rage on their bulky (but chic) fur hats,” and “He comes from a culture in which mothers focus every ounce of their attention on their offspring and don’t acknowledge their own need for independence as women. They are sucked dry by their children, who ultimately leave them as soon as they find suitable mates. As a result of this dynamic, he expects to be waited on hand and foot by the women in his life, and anything less than that makes him whiny and distant.”

The Anti-Defamation league called the article “tasteless,” adding it “plays with offensive stereotypes” about Jews.

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“Humor is a matter of taste, and people can disagree if it is funny or not.  Some will certainly find offensive Lena Dunham’s stereotypes about cheap Jews offensive. Others will take issue with the very idea of comparing a dog and a Jewish boyfriend,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL National Director. “The piece is particularly troubling because it evokes memories of the ‘No Jews or Dogs Allowed’ signs from our own early history in this country, and also because, in a much more sinister way, many in the Muslim world today hatefully refer to Jews as ‘dogs.'”

“We doubt that Ms. Dunham had any intention of evoking such comparisons,” Foxman added. “While we understand that humor is its own special brand of expression and always try to give leeway to comedians, we wish that she had chosen another, less insensitive way to publicly reflect on her boyfriend’s virtues and vices.  We are surprised that the New Yorker chose to print it.”

The article prompted a backlash on social media, with many taking to Twitter to vent their feelings:

Not everyone believed the article is anti-Semitic.

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