Jared Leto as Adam Neumann

WeWork TV show is another unflattering representation of Jews

Apple TV's new show about WeWork founder Adam Neumann is delightful, funny, quite smart, but also represents Israelis as conmen who manipulate to achieve goals, causing concern in those worried about Israel's image

Amir Bogan, Austin |
Updated: 03.13.22, 21:44
When Apple TV+ announced the casting of Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway for the characters of Adam Neumann and his wife Rebecca, for their new on the fall of WeWork, some critics in the U.S. questioned the suitability of the two non-Jewish actors.
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  • These initial reactions soon faded.
    3 View gallery
    מתוך WeCrashed
    מתוך WeCrashed
    Jared Leto as Adam Neumann
    (Photo:: +AppleTV)
    After watching the first episode of "WeCrashed," which will air on March 18 on Apple TV+, it is safe to say that Leto and Hathaway's casting is great and accurate.
    What should be troubling the concerned viewers among us, is the characters themselves, or their representation in the series, which is comical, nefarious, ridiculous - and yet full of charm.
    The premiere of the first episode was on Sunday at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, where Leto and Hathaway met with producers Lee Eisenberg and Drew Carballo, and actor Kyle Chandler, who plays Neumann's business partner, and co-founder Miguel McKelvey.
    In recent years the SXSW festival has become a more high-tech conference than a cultural event, so it is no wonder that the local Paramount cinema was filled with hundreds of movie enthusiasts and high-tech industry members, or both.
    Either way, it would be hard to find anyone who does not know the story of the collapse of WeWork and its founder Adam Neumann.
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    אדם נוימן
    אדם נוימן
    Adam Neumann founder of WeWork
    (Photo: AP)
    The opening scene shows the company's board of directors, voting to oust Neumann - its CEO, after news broke of the investigation into his conduct, in the Wall Street Journal in 2019.
    Neumann, who wakes up for another day, is called to an emergency meeting. He is a little confused and even afraid but his wife Rebecca is there to boost his confidence.
    In the first episode, the plot centers around Neumann's story as a shady Israeli entrepreneur in New York, perusing his business vision and investors to fund it.
    At that point in his life, the young man from Kfar Saba, is financially strapped, but ignores that fact.
    In one of the scenes, he meets his neighbor in the elevator and invites him over for a drink. "I'm from Israel," he says, "and in our country, our neighbors are like family, we always hang at each other's house."
    The embarrassed neighbor agrees and both of them head over to Newman's apartment. But even this so-called friendly gesture turns out to be a fraud - since all Neumann's wants is the hot meal his neighbor brought home with him.
    This is Adam Neumann according to WeCrashaed - a charming con man.
    He fools everybody, and even himself a little. It seems that all the closest people to him - and there aren too many in the Big Apple - are just occasional tools for him to use and manipulate on his way to success.
    It is safe to assume that when Neumann, Rebecca, and their family will watch WeCrashaed, they would not be very happy with the way they are portrayed on screen.
    What drives the plot and its comical tone is the cartoon-like representation of the two, and although the creators: Eisenberg and Carballo, swore they were had no such intention, that was indeed, the final result.
    3 View gallery
    מתוך WeCrashed
    מתוך WeCrashed
    (Photo: +AppleTV)
    It is delightful, funny, and also quite smart. But those of us who are overly concerned with the good name of Jews, should be deeply troubled.
    Not because Leto and Hathaway are not loyal representations of the source, but rather the opposite - because the actors do their jobs well, and their great talent embodies the characters themselves, who have, quite literally, stopped being a source of pride.
    First published: 19:27, 03.13.22
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