An Irish Actor Playing Oppenheimer Proves Once Again That Jews Don't Count

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Casting non-Jews in the roles of Jews reduces the believability of a performance not only for Jewish audiences—but for anybody who values authenticity.

This does not hold true for most other ethnic and racial communities. Rightly so, the entertainment industry has made a concerted effort to cast Asian actors as Asian characters, to cast Black actors in the roles of Black characters and Latino actors as Latino characters. Hollywood has worked to increase gender equity and the representation of differently-abled individuals in film and TV.

If Hollywood continues its robust commitment to diversity—and it absolutely should—then it needs to acknowledge Jewish people are an ethnicity. We are a people, we are a nationality, with a lineage that can be traced back to a very specific geographic location in the world. And, as is the case with every other ethnic minority portrayed in TV and film, Jews deserve real, nuanced, accurate representation.

Ultimately, casting non-Jews in the roles of Jews reduces the relatability and believability of a performance, not only for Jewish audiences but for anybody who values the importance of authenticity in cinema. Malina Saval is the Editor in Chief of Pasadena Magazine and the author of The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw, Emotional World of Male Teens. She spent 10 years as Features Editor at Variety, winning several National Arts & Entertainment Journalism awards for her work covering Jewish representation in Hollywood.

Source: Entertainment Trends (


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