New Yorker’s David Remnick Defends Lena Dunham and the ‘Jewish-Comic Tradition’

The New Yorker’s editor-in-chief David Remnick has issued a sharp defense of contributor Lena Dunham after a comic piece she wrote titled “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz” received accusations of anti-Semitism from the Anti-Defamation League and a number of media figures on Twitter.

Remnick, who is Jewish provided the following statement to Mediaite in response to those who have criticized the tone of the essay, in which Dunham, who is also Jewish, humorously depicted parallels between her dog and Jewish boyfriend, Fun. singer Jack Antonoff:

“The Jewish-comic tradition is rich with the mockery of, and playing with, stereotypes. Anyone who has ever heard Lenny Bruce or Larry David or Sarah Silverman or who has read ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ knows that. Lena Dunham, who is Jewish and hugely talented, is a comic voice working in that vein. Richard Pryor and Chris Rock do the same about black stereotypes; Amy Schumer does it with women and gender. I don’t mind if one reader or another didn’t find the piece funny. People can differ on that. But considering all the real hatred and tragedy in the world, the people getting exercised about the so-called anti-Semitism of this comic piece, like those who railed at Philip Roth a generation or two ago, are, with respect, howling in the wrong direction.”

In other words: Lighten up, people.

[Photo via screengrab]

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