Netflix recently decided to get in bed with antisemitic author Roald Dahl but this critic will not be watching any work coming from the deal.
It really hurt me to read the news about Netflix acquiring the Roald Dahl Company within the past few weeks. You want to know how to dampen the enjoyment of the Jewish holidays? This sort of news will do it. I didn’t just roll my eyes but felt a pit in my stomach. There has been an increasing uptick in antisemitism and Netflix decided they’re fine getting in bed with one. Just because his family apologized for his hateful views doesn’t make it okay. It was too little and too late. An apology would have been better while his antisemitic bigoted ass was still alive. It doesn’t have the same impact thirty years after the author’s death. No, it was an apology timed to making a deal with Hollywood. You know it and I know it!
I won’t watch anything coming from this deal for the same reason that I no longer watch anything that features Mel Gibson in any capacity. When Richard Donner died, many people were probably watching the Lethal Weapon series in tribute. Not me. The films got permanently blacklisted at the very moment I heard about Gibson’s Jew-hatred. While antisemitism is why I don’t watch or cover the likes of Dahl and Gibson, transphobia is why anything from J.K. Rowling is on my DO NOT WATCH list. I have my own blacklist and it includes antisemites, transphobes, and abusers to name a few. Even though I grew up reading and watching Roald Dahl’s work in school, it no longer has my interest.
Last year saw the announcement that Taika Waititi would be directing two animated Netflix series based on Dahl’s work. I love Taika’s work in general. However, I will not be watching because of Roald Dahl’s antisemitism. Similarly, I have zero interest in the upcoming Wonka prequel for the same exact reason. Antisemitism is not okay and Hollywood needs to stop rewarding antisemites with any kind of deals. Any trailer announcement will just get automatically deleted from my inbox because I do not cover anything originating from Roald Dahl. This even includes screenplays for other films. Take James Bond, for instance. Do not expect a review of the only Bond film written by Dahl. I have values and stick to them.
Some people find it’s okay to separate art from the artist. Not me. You cannot separate art from the artist when the artist is a Jew-hater. This is not and will never be okay. There is no shortage of Jewish critics, let alone Jews in general, who are not okay with antisemites being rewarded. Hollywood can and should be doing better.
Dahl was a rabid antisemite and very open about his Jew-hatred. Why then does Netflix think it’s okay to adapt his work for a new generation? It’s not okay with this Jewish critic. Not now, not ever.