Why Won't TV Let Jews Intermarry?

In Greg Braxton's story about "704 Hauser," the rationale for Goodie's white Jewish girlfriend is that she will provide "even more potential for conflict in the household" (" '704 Hauser' Braces for Race Issue," Calendar, April 7).

As a Jewish woman, I am tired of the "Jewish Law of Television"--that Jews may only appear on TV as long as they do not date or, heaven forbid, marry one another. The rationale is always that the writers need to create conflict or tension in the story line.

There are numerous Jewish characters on TV. Without exception all are romantically involved or married to non-Jews. This is true of shows since "The Goldbergs." If there are Jewish couples, they are the older parents and grandparents.

If the rationale for this no-Jewish-couples edict is that this will create tension, why does it only apply to Jews? If the legitimate demands of dramatic tension preclude romance within one's ethnic or religious group, then why wasn't Claire Huxtable a white woman? Every other race or religion is allowed to marry within, except Jews.

Newsweek observed a couple of years ago that when it comes to TV romances featuring Jewish men, they usually involve "interplay with a cooler WASP goddess" because such women " . . . may also offer an all-American complement to make the pair more palatable to a mainstream audience."

Every other ethnic and religious group fits into the "all-American" image and is palatable to "mainstream" Americans except Jews?

What is not palatable about two Jews marrying? Why is this offensive to "mainstream" Americans? The only explanation that comes to mind, for this attitude, is that two Jews will produce a third Jew and the intermarriage of Jew and Gentile is far more likely to produce a Gentile.

I empathized with Goodie's mother when she told her husband that, as a black woman, she was deeply hurt with her son's choice of a white girlfriend. It was an insult to her as it reflected on his opinion of black women.

I am not offended by the white/black dating but find the Jewish girlfriend to be shallow. Frankly, I don't see what he sees in her. He could do much better!

The majority of Jewish characters on TV are men, and they have all rejected Jewish women and in too many cases have rejected Judaism to obtain this Gentile "prize."

On the rare occasion that a Jewish woman is allowed on TV she is negatively stereotyped. She is a stereotypical "Jewish American princess" . . . whining, demanding, loud, obnoxious and never as sexy as Gentile women. Above all else, she covers her furniture with plastic slip covers.


"The Nanny" is the most offensive example. I fully expect that Fran will start wearing plastic slip covers over her clothes. The character has many "Fine" qualities, but the writers choose to portray her in the most negative ways. Why can't she be Jewish without these offensive stereotypes? I fully realize that this is a comedy, but these characterizations are not funny; they are degrading.

A great many producers, directors and writers for the shows in point are Jewish. They have cast aside the stereotyping of Jewish men as nebbishes and have turned themselves into leading men that women find desirable. Too bad they are unwilling to stop bashing Jewish women.

One thing truly puzzles me. How did all of us whining, gaudy, obnoxious Jewish women somehow manage to raise such brilliant, handsome, creative, successful, desirable Jewish men?

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World