the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

*The Yiddish word for name is "nomen"

Reading the headline, "DID CHARLIE SHEEN ACTUALLY MAKE AN ANTI-SEMITIC SLUR?" reminds me of the childhood poem:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

This was a commonly used phrase among the "kinderlekh." However, names DO hurt!

I grew up hearing about entertainers who were anti-Semitic. Was Arthur Godfrey anti-Semitic? He frequently stayed at Miami hotels which didn't allow Jews.

Accusations of anti-Semitism shadowed Arthur Godfrey during the height of his career....and perist today.

Eddie Fisher ("Been There, Done That") wrote, "One of the best-known anti-Semites in show business was Arthur Godfrey, the host of radio's most important amateur talent contest. Godfrey owned the Kenilworth in Miami, Florida, which supposedly had a sign in front that read NO DOGS OR JEWS ALLOWED.

Others say that Godfrey's association with the Kenilworth, which did establish a 'no Jews' policy in the 1920s, but abandoned it when Godfrey acquired a stake in the hotel in the early 1950s.

Was Marlon Brando an anti-Semite? Brando said on Larry King Live (April 1, 1996),

"Hollywood is run by Jews, it is owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of--people who are starring. Because they've exploited--we have seen the--we have seen the nigger and greaseball. We have seen the Chink, we've seen the slit-eyed dangerous Jap, we have seen the wily Filipino, we've seen everything, but we never saw the Kike. Because they knew perfectly well, that that is where you draw the wagons around." King, who is Jewish replied, "When you say something like that you are playing right in, though, to anti-Semitic people who say the Jews are ________" at which point Brando interrupted.

"No, no, because I will be the first one who will appraise the Jews honestly and say 'Thank God for the Jews.'"

Jay Kanter, Brando's agent, producer and friend defended him in Daily Variety. "Marlon has spoken to me for hours about his fondness for the Jewish people and he is a well-known supporter of Israel."

F-a-s-t forward to 2011. Many people, including the ADL, are upset with Charlie Sheen for calling Chuck Lorre by his Jewish name, Chaim Levine.

Sheen blasted Lorre on the Alex Jones Radio Show. Yes, Lorre's real name is Charles Levine. Chuck is a nickname for Charles and Levine was his family name. Chaim is the Hebrew version of Charles.

Here's what Sheen said about Lorre:

"I'm tired of being told 'You can't talk about that, you can't talk about that.' Bull S.... There's something this side of deplorable that a certain Chaim Levine-- yeah, that's Chuck's real name--mistook this rock star for his own selfish exit strategy, bro. Check it, Alex; I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that his unevolved mind cannot process. Last I checked, Chaim, I spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write. Clearly someone who believes he's above the law."

Sheen went on to call Lorre a "turd" and a "clown."

The ADL responded:

"By invoking television producer Chuck Lorre's Jewish name in the context of an angry tirade against him, Charlie Sheen left the impression that another reason for his dislike of Mr. Lorre is his Jewishness," said Anti-Defamation League national director, Abraham Foxman. "This fact has no relevance to Mr. Sheen's complaint or disagreement, and his words are at best bizarre, and at worst, borderline anti-Semitism."

Argus Hamilton's comment: "Two and a Half Men" drew huge ratings for CBS even though it was a rerun Monday, all thanks to Charlie Sheen. In television, the bigger the train wreck, the higher the ratings. This fall CBS will launch a sitcom called 'Two and a Half Health Care Reforms.'"

I think that Chani Benjaminson of was correct in an -mail sent to me. "Chaim is most certainly not anti- Semitic; it's the peson who used it in an anti-Semitic way.


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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