Seth Rogen says antisemitic people ‘thrive’ in Hollywood: ‘It’s not a reality I have a hard time grappling with’

Actor was interviewed ahead of the release of his new film, ‘An American Pickle’

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 03 August 2020 21:35 BST
Seth Rogen stars in An American Pickle trailer

Seth Rogen has called out antisemitism in Hollywood, shortly after an interview in which he discussed his own Jewish upbringing and his views on religion as an adult.

Speaking to Haaretz, Rogen challenged the antisemitic claim that Hollywood is “controlled” by Jewish people.

“I know for a fact that antisemitic people also do thrive in Hollywood – so the notion that Jews control the careers of everyone in Hollywood is wildly inaccurate,” he said.

Rogen then referenced Mel Gibson, who received an Oscar nomination for Hacksaw Ridge in 2017. The nod came 20 years after a series of scandals that followed Gibson's Best Director win for Braveheart.

Gibson apologised in 2006 after abusing a Jewish police officer with antisemitic comments while being arrested for drink-driving.

In 2012, he denied screenwriter Joe Eszterhas’s accusation that he used the offensive term “oven dodger” while working on a film about Jewish hero Judah Maccabee.

Actor Winona Ryder, who is Jewish, claimed in a recent interview with The Sunday Times that Gibson made the same comment towards her.

“We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends, and Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we’re all talking and he said to my friend, who’s gay, ‘Oh wait, am I gonna get Aids?’,” she said.

“And then something came up about Jews, and he said, ‘You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’”

Gibson’s representative accused Ryder of lying about the encounter.

“It’s not a reality I have a hard time grappling with: I know factually that Jews do not control every element of Hollywood,” Rogen said in the interview.

“If they did, there would be a lot of people who are working who would not be. The notion of calling out antisemitism within Hollywood is easy to me, especially because it’s my home community – Hollywood, not Jews.”

Rogen’s new film, An American Pickle, is released on Amazon on 6 August.

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