The Jewish Chronicle



HOW DO you tell a “Jew” joke without being offensive? As Jews, the answer may lie in the way we react to the joke’s telling. But explaining that reaction — even to each other — is another matter. Then try explaining it to a non-Jew. As relatively prominent Jewish performers, we’ve recently found ourselves embroiled in very public conversati­ons around this subject.

In a recent live-streamed online pun show, Midlands-based non-Jewish comedian Lovdev Barpaga told a “joke” ending with the slur “stupid Jew”. The joke wasn’t about Jewish people, the punchline simply needed to rhyme with “blue” — literally every other word was available, but he chose “Jew”, and for some reason added the adjective “stupid”.

In the footage, the other acts are visibly shocked and struggle for a response. The recording has since been taken down by the organisers, and Barpaga made an apology: “I did a highly offensive, inappropri­ate line… without even thinking about what I said on air.”

This initially received support from industry peers commenting that, despite not having watched the show, they were sure it wasn’t that bad / he didn’t mean it in that way / it’s an easy mistake / CAN’T THOSE SNOWFLAKES

When he mentioned ‘Jew’, for some reason he added the adjective ‘stupid’

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