The ADL Media & Entertainment Institute will engage, educate and impact entertainment, media and related industries to promote more diverse and nuanced representations of Jewish people and understanding of antisemitism.
What We Set Out To Do
As a leading expert on antisemitism, and an organization with a history of engaging with the entertainment and media industries, ADL will produce research to define best practices and to guide greater understanding of the diversity of Jewish life, culture, religion and history and to raise awareness of the impact of antisemitism and Jewish stereotypes.
Publish research about Jewish representation, portrayals and antisemitism in film, TV and media more broadly to define the problem, anchor the conversation and motivate change.
Publish Guidelines and Best Practices
Create and publish guidance and best practices that can be adopted by producers, writers and agencies when developing Jewish characters and storylines.
Provide Industry Education
Increase awareness of antisemitism and the importance of diverse Jewish representation and storytelling via programming geared toward producers, directors, writers and staff in Hollywood.
Amplify Positive Efforts
Uplift and recognize positive efforts throughout media and entertainment while holding individuals and studios accountable for hateful and biased content.
Develop partnerships with other advocacy organizations to collaborate for intersectional impact and expand the reach of ADL’s work.
Antisemitism and Misperceptions of the Jewish People
Reviewing and analyzing how Jewish people are portrayed on screen is critical during a time of rising antisemitism. In our 2022 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, we recorded the highest number of reported antisemitic incidents in the United States since ADL began tracking this data over 40 years ago.
Studies indicate that nearly one-third of Americans claim that they know no Jewish people and that people hear anti-Jewish comments from TV/movies/pop culture more than from most other sources Research demonstrates that viewers who consume content that includes Jewish stereotypes are more likely to hold antisemitic views. Representations of Jewish people in film and TV often rely on stereotypes and tropes that can create a narrow or negative image of the Jewish community.
The new Institute supports the White House’s U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, released in May 2023, which explicitly calls on the entertainment industry to play a larger role in combating antisemitism and promoting diverse depictions of Jewish people in media.
From Past to Present – Continuation of ADL’s Work
ADL’s engagement with Hollywood and the entertainment industry spans decades. From its earliest days, ADL has endeavored to fight against harmful portrayals in entertainment by working directly with booking agents, theater managers, actors, film studios and the public to bring about change.
A year after ADL’s founding in 1913, our executive committee sent a letter to heads of film studios urging collaboration toward eliminating negative depictions of Jewish people so as not to fuel prejudice. In 1947, ADL was part of an umbrella group of Jewish organizations called the National Community Relations Advisory Council (NCRAC). NCRAC’s goal was similar to what the executive committee had set out to do: “everything should be done to eliminate unfortunate stereotypes of the Jews.”
In 2023, ADL launched the Entertainment Leadership Council to harness the power of Hollywood by bringing together leaders of the entertainment industry in a renewed effort to fight hate for good.