People Are Accusing 'The Umbrella Academy' Creators of Anti-Semitism

Fans of the series have noted its problematic use of anti-Jewish tropes
People Are Accusing 'The Umbrella Academy' Creators of Anti-Semitism
Netflix's The Umbrella Academy — based on the graphic novels by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way — premiered its second season on the platform over the weekend to generally good reviews. But now, some fans are accusing the series of perpetuating anti-Semitic rhetoric through the representation of its antagonists.

Specifically, viewers have criticized the show for suggesting its main villain "The Handler" (played by Kate Walsh) is Jewish because of her use of Yiddish words like "meshugas" and "schvitz," terms that some Twitter users argue wouldn't be used casually by "goyim."

Additionally, fans have taken note of the show's problematic portrayal of an evil secret society, made up of characters that are repeatedly described or seen as "lizard people" that control the world from the shadows and serve to dismantle American life.

One Twitter user, @gabsaporta, called out the show's creators for using the Yiddish language haphazardly in both of its two seasons.

Last year, the show came under fire by the Board of Deputies of British Jews for the same accusations, as antagonists' use of Yiddish appeared in Season 1 as well.

"The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organization which controls the world's timeline is clearly an anti-Semitic trope," VP Amanda Bowman told the Sun newspaper last year. "Whether intentional or not, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing. Netflix should take action to remove the racism from this scene."

Season 2 of the series premiered on Friday (July 31) last week. While Way penned the original graphic novel series, the live-action adaptation was created by showrunner Steve Blackman. Alongside Walsh, The Umbrella Academy stars Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper, Aidan Gallagher, David Castañeda and Emmy Raver-Lampman.