These days, one can get canceled for anything…except anti-Semitism. Food critic Allison Roman lost her job at The New York Times for saying she doesn’t want a cookware line like Chrissy Teigen. Chris Harrison was axed from the next season of “The Bachelorette” because he requested that the “woke mob” wait until a contestant accused of racism responded to the underlying allegations. Meanwhile, the San Francisco school board has voted to rename houses of learning that bear the names of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Muir, Paul Revere and Francis Scott Key for their “problematic” stances and acts, even if they were all luminaries for their time.
Do not get me wrong, I think people should be held accountable for their wrongdoings. I believe that racism, homophobia and bigotry towards anyone must be condemned publicly. These prejudices should not be allowed into the public discourse. But I can’t help but notice how hypocritical so many who perpetuate cancel culture (or as writer Roxane Gay calls it, “consequence culture”) are when it comes to those who hate Jews. Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony was a shining example of how you cannot get canceled for anti-Semitism; in fact, you will probably be rewarded for it.
In March 2020, the English pop singer Dua Lipa shared a post on her Instagram story that called all Israelis “fake Jews.” This is an insane conspiracy theory propagated solely by the most hardened of anti-Semites—the statement that any Jew is not “a real Jew,” let alone the six million who live in Israel, is dangerously ignorant. In 2019, four ended up murdered in a Jersey City kosher supermarket by violent extremists who held these precise views.
Dua Lipa’s post also falsely claimed that Israel masterminded the anti-Semitic outfit Hamas, whose founding organizational charter calls for the genocide of all Jews—everywhere. Hamas is recognized by the U.S., EU and most liberal countries as a terrorist organization for that reason, as well as its frequent violence committed against Israeli civilians. Claiming Jews are the cabal behind anti-Semitic violence and hate groups is an obvious act of hatred.
Despite serious outcry from Jews and their allies around the world, Dua Lipa did not apologize for her repost. She never voiced disagreement with the anti-Semitic views of the hateful manifesto she shared.
But of course, the Grammy organizers did not see any of Dua Lipa’s acts as hate speech. Otherwise, why would they allow Dua Lipa to sing at the Grammys and honor her with one of their prestigious awards? Would she not be canceled if she directed such hatred toward any other marginalized group?
Maybe the entertainment industry makes exceptions from accountability for anti-Semitism by people in Lipa’s political camp. I was among those who called out Gina Carano’s terrible Holocaust posts and her sharing of an anti-Semitic image—several times, and I still stand behind it. But I can’t help but wonder: Was Carano publicly denounced and fired for her anti-Semitic posts, or because of her politics? Is anti-Semitism only punishable when it’s done by Republicans in the entertainment industry, but not by liberals like Dua Lipa?
Yet, the “Future Nostalgia” singer was not the only public figure tainted by anti-Semitism at this year’s Grammys.