NBC pulls 'anti-Semitic' 'Nurses' episode after accusations that scene 'demonized' Jews

NBC was already facing criticism for a joke made by Michael Che on 'SNL'

NBC pulled an episode of "Nurses" from its digital platforms after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the network to take action over a scene that has been widely condemned for the way it portrayed a Hasidic patient who refused a bone graft from "goyim," an Arab or a woman.

The scene in question appeared on a Feb. 9 episode of "Nurses" -- which aired its final episode Tuesday night -- and featured a Hasidic Jewish patient who needed a bone graft from a deceased donor who overcomes a significant injury when his father chimed in, "A goyim leg. From anyone. An Arab, a woman?" Goyim is the Yiddish word for gentiles.

"The portrayal of a Hasidic Jew making hateful remarks about ‘an Arab, a woman’ is gratuitous and inflammatory, and only validates longstanding antisemitic stereotypes. Additionally, the episode’s entire premise is wrong," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Fox News Wednesday.

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"Unfortunately, myths about Jewish religious beliefs and practices are far too commonplace, and this episode only serves to amplify such longstanding misperceptions about Jews. We have reached out to NBC executives and have requested that they pull the episode and review their standards for approving dramatic content so that this doesn’t happen in the future," his statement read.

Greenblatt added that in Jewish law, "anything that is potentially lifesaving or health-preserving is not only permitted but indeed mandated."

Natasha Calis as Ashley Collins, Sam Kantor as Ezriel, Alex Poch-Goldin as Toviyah, Dwight Ireland as Dr. McGowan.

Natasha Calis as Ashley Collins, Sam Kantor as Ezriel, Alex Poch-Goldin as Toviyah, Dwight Ireland as Dr. McGowan. (Ken Woroner/eOne/NBC)

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Global Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told us in a statement that in just "one scene," the peacock network "insulted and demonized religious Jews and Judaism.

"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 (sidelocks) and all," the organization said. 

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

"Nurses," filmed and set in Toronto, is a Canadian medical drama that was acquired by NBC in 2020. The show follows five young nurses working at a busy downtown hospital.

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The "Nurses" scene comes as NBCUniversal was already facing criticism for a joke made on "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend as well as a segment on MSNBC earlier this month involving Mehdi Hasan.

"Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half," comedian Michael Che said during the "Weekend Update" segment of "SNL."

Earlier this week, the Anti-Defamation League called on Lorne Michaels to 'take action' after a joke made by Michael Che on 'Saturday Night Live.'  

Earlier this week, the Anti-Defamation League called on Lorne Michaels to 'take action' after a joke made by Michael Che on 'Saturday Night Live.'   (Getty)

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The statement drew attention on social media and sparked a petition from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for NBC "to retract its outrageous claim and apologize immediately."

The Anti-Defamation League went even further to say that they have been monitoring "Weekend Update" this season and said the segment has "inappropriately use[d] Jews as the punchline" multiple times.

"Unfortunately, ADL has tracked multiple 'Weekend Update' jokes this season that inappropriately use Jews as the punchline. I know they can do better," Greenblatt told Fox News Monday evening.

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"In that spirit, I reached out to Lorne Michaels over the weekend urging 'Saturday Night Live' to take action both to repair the damage that’s been done and ensure that this does not happen again," he added.

NBC had "no comment" when reached by Fox News regarding the petition. They have not returned requests for comment regarding the ADL's call for action.