English Jewish comedian, presenter, screenwriter, and author David Baddiel’s documentary “Jews Don’t Count” on the UK’s Channel 4 has received huge accolades, much of it from Jews.
The Financial Times said: “That Baddiel and Channel 4 have already received a torrent of scorn online for making the program only serves to highlight its importance.”
The Daily Mail, ever the nostalgic newspaper, wrote: “Viewers of David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count were left in tears last night after seeing primary school children taking part in a security drill in London.”
And Josh Howie wrote in the Jewish Chronicle: “I don’t need to tell you how insidious racism-antisemitism is, but we’re not who this was made for. It’s always good to be given a reminder, to have some of the most modern forms of this ancient prejudice clearly articulated, but like the book, this is based on, this is a primer, a beginner’s guide, and under that remit, it does its job very well.”
The film was reviewed by The Guardian: “Baddiel focuses on the ideas that formed his 2021 book of the same title. His central thesis is that ‘Jews don’t count as a proper minority’ when it comes to contemporary notions of prejudice and racism. He sets out to explore why so many people seem to ignore antisemitism, as well as ‘the dysfunction between progressives and Jews.’”
But The Guardian only gave the film 4 stars out of 5 because of this part, honestly:
“People sometimes send him (Baddiel) a screenshot of him in blackface, playing the footballer Jason Lee on Fantasy Football League in the 1990s, asking, ‘This you?’
“He has apologized before and apologizes here, once again acknowledging that it was racist. The film ends with Baddiel meeting Lee in person and saying sorry to his face. ‘Why has it taken you 25 years to reach out and have this conversation?’ asks Lee, before the men have another of the documentary’s frank discussions. As fascinating and newsworthy as it is, it is the only part that stands out slightly. It seems, to me, to belong more to a story about Baddiel as a public figure than to the rest of this film.”
In other words, when a Jew doesn’t apologize, he catches flack, when he does, he catches flack for taking so long, and in the end, he catches flack for talking about it in his film. How very par for the course.
Google books offers the book ‘Jews Don’t Count’ online, so, I picked this part from the first chapter: