Amazon CEO won’t cancel antisemitic film touted by Kyrie Irving

Amazon Kyrie Irving
FILE – AWS CEO Andy Jassy discusses a new initiative with the NFL during AWS re:Invent 2019 in Las Vegas, on Dec. 5, 2019. Amazon CEO Jassy said Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, that the company does not have plans to stop selling the antisemitic film that gained notoriety recently after Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving tweeted out an Amazon link to it. (Isaac Brekken/AP Images for NFL, File) Isaac Brekken/AP

Amazon CEO won’t cancel antisemitic film touted by Kyrie Irving

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the business needed to maintain the principle of being “willing to allow viewpoints that are different from your own.”

While appearing at the DealBook Summit Wednesday, Jassy said the online retailer had no plans to remove or insert a disclaimer to the antisemitic film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America! that Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving recently linked to in a tweet.

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KANYE WEST’S TWITTER ACCOUNT SUSPENDED BY ELON MUSK AFTER POSTING NAZI SWASTIKA IMAGE

“As a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers with a lot of different viewpoints, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints,” the CEO said.

Jassy said canceling or placing disclaimers is not always a “straightforward” decision.

“When you have content that actively incites or promotes violence or teaches people how to do things, like pedophilia, those are easy. When you have content whose primary purpose is not to espouse hate or ascribe negative characteristics to people, that is much trickier and a very slippery slope,” he said.

Irving came under fire for the tweet, which has since been taken down, after critics said the film contained antisemitic content. The Anti-Defamation League also blasted Irving and called on Amazon to remove the film from its store.

The Nets suspended Irving on Nov. 3 but lifted it after more than two weeks once Irving issued an apology, saying he is a person who “stands for peace” and does not “condone any hate speech or any prejudice.” Amid the controversy, Irving lost his deal with Nike.

“I’m Jewish, too, and I’m worried about antisemitism, and I find several parts of that content very objectionable, but I think that you have to have principles if you’re going to manage something as large as we do with hundreds of millions of customers,” Jassy said. “Again, to me, you have to be willing to allow viewpoints that are different from your own if the primary purpose of the content is not hate.”

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Rapper and clothing designer Kanye West, who now legally goes by Ye, has also drawn criticism and had several brands, including Adidas, cut ties with him following a string of antisemitic and offensive remarks.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk suspended West’s account early Friday morning after the rapper tweeted an image of a Jewish star with a Nazi swastika inside it.

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