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Press Release

ADL Commends Tribune Media Services for Swift Action in Response to Offensive Stereotype in Crossword Puzzle

New York, NY, July 1, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the editors at Tribune Media Services for their immediate response and apology for a clue in a syndicated crossword puzzle that sought the response “Jew” to the clue, “Shylock, e.g.”

In a June 28 letter to ADL, the Chicago-based syndicate’s managing editor wrote: “The puzzle should not have been distributed with that clue, and we apologize for the offense it caused.  The issue has been discussed with the creators and editors involved, and the clue will not be used again in a Tribune Media Services crossword.” A formal apology for the puzzle clue appeared in newspapers across the country on Sunday, after ADL raised the issue with the editors last Friday.

“We commend Tribune Media Services for acknowledging our concerns and concerns from readers and taking swift action in response,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “They have made clear to us that they understood this was an offensive stereotype, and that the Shylock clue should never have made it into the puzzle.”

The League has also received a written apology from the crossword editor at The Los Angeles Times, one of the many papers that carried the offending puzzle. ADL has also been in contact with editors at several other newspapers through its regional offices to discuss the crossword.

Shylock is a reference to the grotesque stereotypically Jewish character from Shakespeare’s play, “The Merchant of Venice.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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