Jewish TV Producers Apalled Over Tamara Abood Attack On Stephen Fry – Deadline

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Prominent Jewish TV executives in the UK have expressed their horror at a social media post by a former Channel 4 commissioner, who attacked a Stephen Fry rallying call against antisemitism.

Tamara Abood, an ex-Channel 4 current affairs commissioner and producer of shows including What Happens In Kavos, sparked anger after posting on LinkedIn about Fry’s alternative Christmas Day message.

Industry executives were also dismayed that one of Abood’s posts was ‘liked’ by Deborah Williams, chief executive of the Creative Diversity Network, British TV’s inclusion watchdog.

Fry used his speech on Channel 4 to express concern about rising antisemitism in the UK and implored viewers to stand up against discrimination. The six-minute speech was produced by Fulwell 73.

Abood, who now works as a psychotherapist but maintains links to the TV industry, wrote that the speech was “disingenuous” in a series of LinkedIn messages.

She added: “C4 is broadcasting a Christmas message about anti-semitism. If this doesn’t demonstrate to you where the power lies, and who dies for those lies of the powerful, you are choosing to be blind.”

Abood has since deleted her LinkedIn account, meaning her messages are no longer in the public domain, but a source shared screenshots of the posts and the uproar they provoked. Abood has been contacted for comment.

LinkedIn posts from Tamara Abood

In other messages, Abood argued that antisemitism “is not happening in a vacuum” and that the specter of hatred towards Jewish people “has been used to silence debate.” She added that she was “entirely empathetic to anyone experiencing discrimination.”

One prominent producer replied: “I have been deeply upset and to be honest, appalled by the malicious vitriolic tone and content of your postings… I am trying to understand where you are coming from but your facts are incorrect and the language is upsetting, racist, anti-semitic in the extreme.”

Another producer, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, said: “I’m saddened by your post… The trouble with posts like this is that they totally alienate Jews – and push us further away, at a time when, surely, we need to try to bring us all together?”

Leo Pearlman, managing partner at Fulwell 73, told The Daily Telegraph — which first reported on the LinkedIn posts — that it was like Abood was “playing a game of antisemitism bingo.” He added: “Every trope is there from ‘Jews control the media’ to ‘anti-Semitism not operating in a vacuum.’”

Dismay At CDN Boss Liking Post

There is also anger that Abood’s post about where the “power lies” was liked by Williams, who has led the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) for the past seven years. The organization is a collaboration between major UK broadcasters and monitors diversity in television shows.

Pearlman told the Telegraph: “Perhaps most concerning of all is that the post was liked by the head of the CDN – that underlines the extent of the problem we are dealing with. If the person who is meant to be responsible for helping minorities in our industry is liking or retweeting this kind of stuff, I am not sure that the organisation she heads is fit for purpose.”

Another producer told Deadline: “I just cannot believe that the head of CDN doesn’t see anti-Jewish racism as a problem. Instead she’s publicly endorsing the intimidation of Jews.”

Williams and a spokesperson for the CDN have been contacted for comment.

She has been active on Twitter (now X) in recent hours, including retweeting a post from ITV presenter Robert Peston, in which he said: “As a Jew, I have become increasingly worried that the charge of antisemitism is being levelled to silence legitimate and important debate. Antisemitism is on the rise, but there is also a rise in the unscrupulous use of the term to silence reasonable questions about the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.”

Stephen Fry Speech

Fry used his Christmas Day message, an alternative to King Charles III’s traditional festive speech, to decry antisemitism. He said it was “agonizing” to witness the conflict in Gaza and the “terrible loss of life on both sides brings me an overwhelming sadness and heartache.”

Fry added that this was “no excuse” for hatred towards Jewish people in the UK. “Knowing and loving this country as I do, I don’t believe that most Britons are ok living in a society that judges hatred of Jews to be the one acceptable form of racism. So speak up, stand with us, be proud to be Jewish or Jew-ish – or, if not Jewish at all, proud to have us as much a part of this great nation as any other minority, as any of you,” he said.

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