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ADL urges company to apologize for offensive crossword clue (illustration)
Photo: Shutterstock
'Shylock' used as puzzle clue for 'Jew'
ADL accuses editors of Tribune Media Services of perpetuating classic anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews as evil, money-hungry in crossword puzzle which appeared in several newspapers across US
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday called on the editors of Tribune Media Services to apologize for a crossword puzzle that used the clue “Shylock, e.g.” to elicit a three-letter response, with the correct answer being “Jew.”


The crossword puzzle, which was syndicated, appeared last week in several newspapers across the United States.


“Shylock” is a reference to the grotesque stereotypic fictional Jewish character from Shakespeare’s play, “The Merchant of Venice,” the ADL said in a statement.


ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a letter to Tribune Media Services, “Perhaps the puzzle authors were unaware of the use of Shakespeare’s Shylock character throughout the years as a vehicle for anti-Semitism.


"Selecting Shylock to elicit the answer ‘Jew’ demonstrates cultural ignorance and an extreme lack of sensitivity. Even if done inadvertently, such a linkage perpetuates classic anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews as evil and money-hungry.”


The Jewish group urged Tribune Media Services to print an apology and refrain from using clues that reinforce negative stereotypes about Jews or other groups in the future.



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