Nurses: Antisemitic Charges Aimed at NBC, not Global TV

NURSES -- "Achilles Heel" Episode 108 -- Pictured: (l-r) Natasha Calis as Ashley Collins, Sam Kantor as Ezriel, Alex Poch-Goldin as Toviyah, Dwight Ireland as Dr. McGowan (Photo by: Ken Woroner/eOne/NBC)

Charges of antisemitism were directed at NBC two weeks after the “Achilles Heel” episode of Nurses aired while Global TV in Canada gets no blame.

Most people seem to be unaware that Nurses originated in Canada. The press releases I’ve seen from both the Simon Wiesenthal Center and B’nai Brith Canada direct the blame to NBC. B’nai Brith Canada, for what it’s worth, seems to be the only organization acknowledging the producers of the series and its Canadian origin. However, they let Global TV off the hook for any blame. But what is most perplexing is why a Canadian Jewish organization waited one year to the date before issuing a press release? Is it because nobody said anything until Jew in the City published something? This is probably why we heard nothing until this week. But still, NBC aired this episode on February 9, 2021. Why did these organizations stay silent for two full weeks?

The Simon Wiesenthal Center statement:

“The writers of this scene check all the boxes of ignorance and pernicious negative stereotypes, right down to the name of the patient, Israel—paiyous and all.

“In one scene, NBC has insulted and demonized religious Jews and Judaism.

“Overreaction? Orthodox Jews are targeted for violent hate crimes – in the city of New York, Jews are number one target of hate crimes in US; this is no slip of the tongue. It was a vile, cheap attack masquerading as TV drama. What’s NBC going to do about it?”

No blame towards Global TV, eOne, or the Canadian origin. Only NBC. Also, the patient’s name is Ezriel. This is how the character is captioned in the photo.

An excerpt of the B’nai Brith Canada statement:

B’nai Brith’s view is that this inaccurate plot line perpetuates false and dangerous antisemitic stereotypes about Jews – Hasidic and Orthodox Jews in particular – hating women, Arabs or non-Jews in general. The organization has written to three companies responsible for producing the show, demanding an apology, a factual correction and the removal of the impugned episode until changes can be made.

Nurses has recently received more interest and scrutiny due to being broadcast by NBC in the United States.

“The disturbing stereotypes present in this episode of Nurses are deeply damaging to Jews, especially Orthodox practitioners,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We call on the producers to act responsibly and take accountability for this outrage.

“All of this could have been avoided if producers had thought to consult members of the Orthodox Jewish community before depicting them in this false and slanderous light.”

This statement, again, acknowledges the Canadian origin. Moreover, they’ve written to the companies responsible for producing the show: ICF Films, Entertainment One, and Corus Entertainment. Of course, the statement could go further by not letting Global TV off the hook either. However, they completely let Global TV off the hook.

The article in The Hollywood Reporter acknowledges that Nurses originated in Canada. If not for the pandemic, NBC probably wouldn’t have ordered the series to fill in the hours on their schedule.

I’m trying to find the Numeris ratings but the series wasn’t in the Top 30 for the week in which the episode originally aired. According to JTA, it appears that there were about a million viewers a week during the first season on Global TV. In the US, this particular episode was viewed by approximately 2 million viewers according to TV Series Finale. Take away the pandemic and the 18-49 demo numbers would have been enough to cancel the series in the US.

Listen, I have no problem calling out antisemitic stereotypes in both movies and television.  It needs to be called out.  Yes, this also includes the recent antisemitic blood libel during Weekend Update on SNL. The same blood libel that has led to antisemitic tweets on Twitter directed at Jewish users. But here’s the thing where I am very confused: why is Global TV getting off scot free?  This particular episode of Nurses aired on February 24, 2020 on Global TV. The fact of the matter is that they should be getting some of the blame here. I’ve seen no complaints directed at them–only NBC and the three companies listed above. Most complaints–especially on social media–are being directed towards NBC and only NBC.

While calling out antisemitic stereotypes is necessary, it is irresponsible to direct all the anger about Nurses towards NBC while letting Global TV off scot free.


After publishing, B’nai Brith Canada reached out via Twitter to let me know that Corus Entertainment owns Global TV. This doesn’t excuse that they should have said something a year ago when the episode aired. Any Jewish organization, really.

Nurses just concluded their first season run on TV. Global TV has ordered a second season in Canada.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.