Tablet, a prominent “online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture,” has sparked an outcry over an essay published Monday blaming the downfall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in part on his Judaism.
In a piece titled “The Specifically Jewy Perviness of Harvey Weinstein,” editor at large Mark Oppenheimer insisted that Harvey’s specific cases of sexual harassment were part of larger “revenge fantasies on the Goyim.”
The Twitterverse was not pleased. “No matter how PC the world gets, ripping on Jews has never gone out of style,” wrote one commenter.
Oppenheimer defended his take. “Maybe it came too early for some, or I might not have done it correctly,” he told TheWrap via email. “But my intent here was to examine, not to cause pain.”
In his piece, Oppenheimer cited the title character in Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” to make his point. “All those years craving unattainable Gentiles, but never before the means to entice them. The result is Alexander Portnoy of ‘Portnoy’s Complaint,’ a grown man whose emotional and sexual life is still all one big performance piece, just as it had been when he was a teenager and pleasured himself with a piece of liver,” wrote Oppenheimer.
“Harvey is cut from the same cloth,” he continued. “Growing up in Queens, he fantasized of fame and fortune, and, once he got them, he struggled to maintain them by building himself into a larger-than-life figure.”
Oppenheimer also opined that the non-Jewish origin of women targeted by Weinstein was deliberate.
“It goes without saying that nearly every one of these women — Rose McGowan, Ambra Batillana, Laura Madden, Ashley Judd, etc. — was a Gentile, all the better to feed Weinstein’s revenge-tinged fantasy of having risen above his outer-borough, bridge-and-tunnel Semitic origins,” he wrote.
In his email to TheWrap, Oppenheimer said, “What I was trying to do in this case was examine how common narratives — particularly those transmitted by literature — might influence how people may be processing Weinstein’s Jewish identity in this story.”
But pinning Weinstein’s transgressions on his Jewish heritage promptly ignited a storm of criticism on Twitter.
I’m still in a horrified rage over the @tabletmag piece.
– John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) October 10, 2017
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. What are you doing. Has everyone lost their mind? pic.twitter.com/ojqkxw1C0G
– Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) October 10, 2017
This seems misguided. Plumbing the depths of “we can say it” journalism pic.twitter.com/KWVppOIWz6
– Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) October 10, 2017
Yikes, Tablet magazine:
“The Specifically Jewy Perviness of Harvey Weinstein:
The disgraced film producer is a character straight out of Philip Roth, playing out his revenge fantasies on the Goyim”https://t.co/Bor8R5r4uC
– John Durant (@johndurant) October 10, 2017
The problem, of course, is that the author implies that trying to tread that line leads to “specific jewy perviness.” That’s just wrong.
– Elliott Hamilton (@ElliottRHams) October 10, 2017
No matter how PC the world gets, ripping on Jews has never gone out of style.
– Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) October 10, 2017
One man who was a fan was the prominent white nationalist, Richard Spencer, who called the post a “powerful essay”
Tablet … or The Daily Stormer? Regardless, powerful easy. https://t.co/og0gZyssfw
– Richard ☝????Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) October 10, 2017