Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has explained why he hasn’t pulled an antisemitic documentary from the company’s Prime Video store despite mounting pressure from celebrities and news media — neglecting to mention the company’s history of removing other controversial films from its streaming platform.
Speaking Wednesday at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit, Andy Jassy reportedly said Amazon has no immediate plans to remove the 2018 documentary Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, or to put a disclaimer on the title.
“As a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints,” he said, according to a Times report. He said that the decision to remove Hebrews to Negroes is less “straightforward” than pulling content that actively promotes violence or pedophilia.
Amazon sells many controversial works including Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf and Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book. However, the tech/retail giant has set a precedent of removing content that does not promote illegal activity, such as the aforementioned violence or pedophilia.
Amazon’s chief executive, Andy Jassy, said at the DealBook Summit on Wednesday that the company had no immediate plans to remove — or add a disclaimer to — the antisemitic film that Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets guard, drew attention to last month. https://t.co/keOU448KIj
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 30, 2022
In 2019, several anti-vaccination documentaries were removed from Amazon’s video streaming platform. Months later, a documentary critical of mass Islamic migration to Europe was pulled, though it had been hosted for several years. In 2020, documentaries on left-wing media malpractice and Big Tech censorship were either yanked from Prime Video or prohibited from ever going live.
Jassy said Amazon has a “significant group of people,” as well as a panel, that reviews content for possible removal.
Hebrews to Negroes became a cultural flashpoint after NBA athlete Kyrie Irving promoted the documentary on Twitter. The documentary, which espouses Black Hebrew Israelite ideology, denies that millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and claims that Jews control the media.
The movie is based on the book of the same title, which Amazon also sells on its online store.
Irving has apologized for promoting the movie after being temporarily suspended by the Brooklyn Nets. As Breitbart News reported, a group of Black Hebrew Israelites showed up in support of Irving at a recent Nets game following his suspension.
At Wednesday’s event, moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin, who is a Times reporter, reportedly said he is Jewish and was not comfortable with Amazon’s decision to keep selling the movie. Jassy replied he is also Jewish.
Numerous Hollywood celebrities have signed a petition urging Amazon and other online retailers to pull the documentary from their sites. Stars who have signed the petition include Debra Messing, Mila Kunis, songwriter Diane Warren, and Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik.