Citing Gaza war, British Airways postpones airing of Jewish sitcom

The producer of “Hapless” said the move was “nonsensical” as the series has nothing to do with Israel or the Mideast conflict.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Just a few days after the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, British Airways (BA) postponed the airing of an Jewish sitcom on its flights so as not to take sides in the conflict, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Britain’s national airline had signed on to showing the series, called “Hapless,” in August. Five days after Hamas invaded Gaza envelope communities, slaughtering 1,200 people, and Israel declared war on the terror organization, the media company that had played middleman to the deal told the show’s writer, director and producer of BA’s sudden decision.

“BA Press office have asked us to review content on board and being booked in relation to Israel/Palestine and the conflict currently happening,” the Spafax Media company emailed to Gary Sinyor. “Their preference is to remain as neutral in these situations as possible. As a result we’ve been asked to remove Hapless from the December line-up but are very happy to book this once the conflict dies down.”

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Sinyor told the Daily Telegraph that BA’s pronouncement was “nonsensical,” as the British show has “nothing to do with Israel-Palestine. I mean, other than that the Jewish people live in Israel and that Israel is a Jewish state, it has nothing to do with it. I think what it shows is a fear of being perceived as being pro-Israel just because it’s got Jewish characters in it.”

He also called the decision “overcautious,” adding that “if that’s reflected in British society then I think the Jewish community here would be concerned.”

Hapless follows the adventures of a London investigative reporter for a fictional Jewish newspaper, made in the spirit of the long-running HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which follows the life of a semi-retired TV writer and producer. “Paul Green” has a dominating sister, dismissive father, and neurotic best friend, as well as a host of peeves and neuroses that get in the way of his journalistic ambitions.

It is currently being shown on Netflix in several countries and on Amazon Prime.

BA gave a non-response to the paper, saying merely, “We are proud to offer a wide range of entertainment options for our customers to enjoy. We are constantly reviewing our content and are in the process of planning our 2024 schedule.”

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