NBC Pulls ‘Nurses’ Episode After Massive Backlash Over ‘Jew face,’ ‘Anti-Semitic’ Scene

Natasha Calis as Ashley Collins, Sam Kantor as Ezriel, Alex Poch-Goldin as Toviyah, Dwight Ireland as Dr. McGowan. (Ken Woroner/eOne/NBC)
Ken Woroner/eOne/NBC

NBC is pulling an episode of its medical drama Nurses after falling under heavy fire for an “anti-Semitic” scene, in which a Hasidic patient refuses a bone graft from a “goyim” — the Yiddish word for a non-Jewish person.

“The graft, where does it come from?” asks the Hasidic patient in the scene.

“It’s called an allo bone graft, it’s harvested from a deceased donor,” replies the doctor.

“A goyim leg, from anyone, an Arab? A woman?” asks a second Hasidic character.

“Or God forbid an Arab woman,” says a third character.

Allison Josephs — founder of the nonprofit organization Jew in the City — resurfaced the clip Tuesday on Twitter, where she included her  blog post calling on NBC to apologize for its Nurses scene.

“There is no prohibition on getting a dead body part surgically inserted into one’s body,” wrote Jospehs. “In fact, Jewish law says we should use the best medicine of our times to recover from our illnesses.”

“There is no prohibition to get a non-Jewish body part inserted, nor is there a prohibition if the part belongs to a woman or an Arab,” she added. “The idea that such a surgery would be problematic in general or problematic because of where the bone came from not only is categorically false according to Jewish law, it is a vicious lie that endangers men who walk around with curled side locks and black hats.”

Seffi Kogen, the head of Young Leadership at the American Jewish Committee (AJC), echoed Josephs sentiments, tweeting, “I think this is the most antisemitic thing I have ever seen in a TV show.”

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“For those of you unfamiliar with Jewish law, which puts precedent on healing and saving lives, there is no prohibition on the kind of bone graft in this clip,” added Kogen in a follow-up tweet. “The writers made it up, dressed their actors in Jew-face, and put random extremist nonsense in their mouths.”

Shortly after that, other social media users took to Twitter to express their dismay over the resurfaced clip.

“This warrants an apology and an explanation from @nbc,” wrote one Twitter user.

“This is wrong on so many levels,” commented another.

“I guess ‘Jew face’ is ok but ‘black face’ is racist. And while full blown lying about how a family would handle a situation…. this world is disgusting,” wrote a third.

“This truly is shockingly anti-Semitic. Zero accuracy or truth to anything that is going on here. I am stunned @nbc would even consider airing this,” another Twitter user commented.

“The look, language, discussion of Jewish law. They literally got everything wrong,” tweeted another Twitter user. “Writers, directors, actors etc. should all be ashamed. But they won’t be. Jews. No biggie.”

“Ask yourself: Would this happen with any other religion/people? That’s how you know it’s anti-semitic,” the Twitter user added.

“What the f is this?” one Twitter user asked of the resurfaced Nurses clip.

“This is the worst minute of television I have ever seen,” commented another. “It is 100% anti-semitic, and there is no jewish law covering what they are discussing. @nbc @nbcnurses should be ashamed.”

“I have a very good Jewish friend whose life was saved by a kidney donation from a Christian stranger,” said one Twitter user. “She read about his situation on Facebook and decided to save his life with one of her organs.”

“The idea that we Jews wouldn’t accept such generosity is anti-semitism straight up,” the Twitter user added.

“And thinks why we need a media detox. This is a straight up lie. Jewish law puts saving life above everything else. These are actors dressed liked Jews to make Jews look bad. This is anti-Semitic and NBC should be ashamed,” commented another.

After facing backlash from the social media users and Jewish organizations, NBC pulled the season finale from its digital platforms, according to a report by Deadline.

The scrutiny over the resurfaced Nurses clip comes after NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) also facing backlash for an anti-Semitic joke about Israel and coronavirus vaccines.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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