'The Nanny' Is Jewish and Proud of It

Actress Fran Drescher is the creator and star of the CBS sitcom "The Nanny."

I'm not quite sure why the Counterpunch article "Why Won't TV Show Jewish Couples" (Calendar, May 2) incorporated a vitriolic attack on "The Nanny." Since Judith Peiss felt the need to describe our writers as portraying Fran Fine "in the most negative ways," replete with "offensive stereotypes," however, I felt obligated to respond, if not for myself, then for those who have worked long and hard to ensure that Fran be a warm, caring, and wise character who clearly transcends any stereotypes, Jewish or otherwise.

Why waste time putting down a fellow "sister" such as Fran Fine--someone who displays such a great capacity for love and wisdom and has such wholesome values and good instincts as a Jew, a woman and, above all, as a human being--over something so petty and superficial as plastic slipcovers and the sound of her voice?

The truth of the matter is I created Fran Fine based very closely upon my mother, myself and all the wonderful and rich characters I grew up around in Flushing, Queens. I am sorry andsad if the way we really are (yes, plastic covers and all) offends Peiss, mainly because all her article accomplished was to reveal her own insecurities as a Jewish woman living in a WASP culture.

Perhaps Peiss finds Fran Fine too blatantly Jewish for her taste. But Fran is openly proud of her heritage, and often incorporates Yiddish expressions in her dialogue. I find it infuriating to deal with negativity regarding a character who is clearly carving inroads for other Jewish characters--particularly women--who will not have to apologize for who or what they are. Maybe Peiss has been brainwashed--by the very media she puts down--into believing that the only good portrayal of a Jew is an assimilated one!

P.S. If Peiss has a Nielsen box, please disregard the above.

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