Thirty-four Democrats sign onto letter urging Amazon to pull antisemitic film

The letter comes after Amazon said it would not take any action against the content

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

Thirty-four House Democrats will push Amazon to unlist a book and film promoting antisemitic Black Hebrew Israelite ideology, Jewish Insider has learned. The film rose to prominence after NBA star Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to it last month, igniting a firestorm that resulted in the Brooklyn Nets point guard’s temporary suspension.

Amazon announced on Wednesday that it will not take any action regarding the “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” despite previous reporting that, in conversation with the Anti-Defamation League, it was considering adding a disclaimer to the film. The letter began circulating last week, before Amazon’s decision on the matter, and its text remained essentially unchanged.

The finalized letter — circulated by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) — was signed by Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Katie Porter (D-CA), Susan Wild (D-PA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jim Costa (D-MA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Nikema Williams (D-GA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), Colin Allred (D-TX), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), David Trone (D-MD), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA).

Aguilar is the newly elected third-ranking House Democrat.

The letter argues that the content appears to be in violation of Amazon’s own content policies and condemns the company’s “decision to profit from the promotion of this dangerous hate speech.” The letter urged Amazon to take down the film and direct users away from similar content.

Speaking at The New York Times’s DealBook Summit on Wednesday, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said, “As a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers with a lot of different viewpoints, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints.”

He also described the decision not to take action regarding the film as not “straightforward,” but added that creating a precedent of adding disclaimers would add additional hurdles to an already “pretty involved” content oversight process.

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