Why So Many Members Of The Orthodox Jewish Community Aren’t Here For Netflix’s Portrayal Of Them

    “The average secular person watching a show like this is going to have no context for that kind of community, and so these shows have an enormous amount of power.”

    On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Netflix's shows about the Orthodox Jewish community. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

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    So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to Buzzfeed News’ Joe Bernstein about the recent influx of Orthodox Jewish shows on Netflix — and how the community feels about them. Here's some of what we learned:

    BuzzFeed Daily: You wrote a very interesting piece for Buzzfeed News about the recent boom of TV shows on Netflix about Orthodox Jewish communities. Because they’ve received a fair amount of backlash from actual members of these communities. Would you mind explaining what the central conflict is for our listeners?

    BuzzFeed Daily: The thing that really stuck out about your piece is this idea of representation. Hollywood has been making a push in recent years to create programming centered around communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in film and TV. This is considered by most to be a very good thing — but why is it different for the Haredi community?

    BuzzFeed Daily: Another thing you pointed out in your piece is that most of the writers or consultants who work on these projects that are actually from Haredi communities are no longer active members, and in some cases, they have negative perspectives about those communities. Why do you think this is the case?

    Still from the show Shtisel of an Orthodox Jewish woman and man sitting at a table

    BuzzFeed Daily: You spoke with several ex-Haredi folks who have somewhat conflicting opinions on these stories being told. For most of them they’re aware of, and in some cases have even experienced, some of the more repressive aspects of the Haredi lifestyle, especially women. One ex-Haredi woman you spoke to said, “It was misogynistic. I didn’t feel respected or recognized by the men in my community.” But at the same time, some think these shows lack depictions of the positive aspects of Haredi life. Did any of them suggest how they think that balance should be struck, given the negatives?

    Photo of a Jewish family walking in Brooklyn

    We also discussed how John Krasinksi shared the one scene he refused to shoot on The Office.

    Photo of John Krasinski smiling and waving at the camera

    Plus, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello announced they’ve broken up.

    Photo of Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello at the Met Gala

    As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com.