BBC Hit Miniseries ‘McMafia’ Accused of Anti-Jewish ‘Gratuitous Slurs’

Crime drama uses slurs beyond those used in novel on which series is based, UK Lawyers for Israel say


BBC’s new drama miniseries “McMafia” has received complaints of anti-semitism from Jewish groups in Britain, who claim that the show uses “gratuitous slurs” beyond those used in the Misha Glenny novel that the series adapts from.

Created by David Watkins and Hossein Amini, “McMafia” follows a British-born Russian named Alex Godman (James Norton), who struggles to live a law-abiding life away from the criminal underworld his parents dwelled in. One of the people Alex encounters in his struggle is Semiyon Kleiman (David Strathairn), an Israeli businessman who launders money.

The Jewish organization UK Lawyers For Israel released a statement on its Facebook page condemning the show for the slurs used against Kleiman, as well as making references to Israel that were not in the original book. The group included a link to the BBC website’s complaints page and encouraged people to speak out.

“…the mini-series distorts the motto of Mossad which was quoted in the drama, as ‘By deception (sic) we will do war,” the statement reads. “The actual motto comes from Proverbs, 24.6 and says ‘For by wise guidance you can wage your war.’”

“The use of the word ‘deception’ in substitute for the words ‘wise guidance’ attacks the integrity of Mossad and insinuates that Israel officially sanctions deception in its intelligence activities.”

BBC has not yet responded to the complaints and did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.