'Umbrella Academy' Series Creator Steve Blackman Responds to Accusations of Anti-Semitism
Published Aug 06, 2020Netflix recently debuted Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy — a show based on the graphic novels by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way. The show has received generally good reviews, but viewers recently brought back suggestions that the show may contain anti-Semitic rhetoric. Now, series creator has Steve Blackman has released a statement denying the claims.
Blackman shared the following statement in response to the claims:
The accusation of antisemitism in The Umbrella Academy is hurtful and, more importantly, factually incorrect. I wrote these episodes, created the character, and am myself Jewish. While I understand audiences sometimes receive things in a different way than creators intend, The Handler was not created as an anti-Semitic character. The Handler speaks every language, including Swedish, Mandarin, Yiddish, and English as we saw this season, and The Commission is not an evil organization; they do not control finances, governments, or the media. The only thing they control - and more importantly, protect - is the timeline of our fictional Umbrella Academy universe.
Viewers had previously 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 had 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.
Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is now streaming on Netflix. Alongside Walsh, the show stars Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper, Aidan Gallagher, David Castañeda and Emmy Raver-Lampman.