Actors Eddie Marsan and Tracy-Ann Oberman, the stars of BBC’s television series Ridley Road, have revealed that they have both received abuse on Twitter.
In Ridley Road, Mr Marsan and Ms Oberman play integral members of the 62 Group, a coalition of Jewish activists who fought against fascism during 1960s Britain.
While Mr Marsan is himself not Jewish, he has received a considerable amount of online abuse for playing a Jewish character. Posting screenshots of some of the comments he has received, Mr Marsan tweeted: “F**k me, this is relentless, all I did was play a Jew, I dread to think what would’ve happened if I was actually Jewish.”
He later tweeted: “If you do a show about racists, you’re going to p**s racists off. It means we’re doing something right.”
Speaking on the abuse, Mr Marsan said: “This is my culture. I’m not Jewish, I’m not religious in any sense. But what I am, the thing that made me curious and open minded, comes from the diversity I was raised in. So I am sticking up for my culture, because my culture is diversity. It’s unacceptable that friends of mine who are Jewish if they become actors, they’re going to suffer this abuse.”
Ms Oberman, who is Jewish, also took to Twitter to highlight some of the abuse that she has received, writing: “Im posting this to show antisemitism isn’t just a Hard Right Problem. Fascism takes on many guises.”
One of the comments referred to people “exploiting the Holocaust to gain support/sympathy for their colonialist-settler aims,” while another said: “You’ve turned millions against you & exposed the duplicitous tactics that have stereotyped you as rats for millenia, and why it always ends up in either expulsion or ovens”
Ms Oberman also called upon the actors’ union Equity earlier this year to provide a safe space for Jewish performers.