Does Netflix’s “Inside Job” Encourage Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorists? – Before

The Jews are the source of most of the major conspiracy theories. A secret cabal running the government? This may be a principle of QAnon these days, but it is the origin of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an invented hanime pamphlet purporting to detail the Jewish plan for world domination. Bloodsucking lizards? This one is made up of a bit of slander and a mishmash of stereotypes about Jewish immigrants to the United States being less than human.

All of these are, of course, wrong. Except in the world of Netflix’s new cartoon, “Inside Job.” There, a secret cabal rules the world, killing JFK, replacing the president with a robot, and faking the moon landing (sort of, it’s actually a sex colony now). Cognito Inc., as the cabal is known, is funded by – you guessed it – blood-drinking lizards.

A cynical but whimsical adventure in the mold of “Rick and Morty”, the series indulges in many common conspiracy theories, sneering at the ignorance and manipulability of the public – exactly what true conspiracy theorists fear.

On Twitter, some feared that the show would encourage anti-Semitic beliefs. After all, it shows how the Deep State controls the media, sowing outrage on Twitter to distract us from the real cabal work. A guy whose all job is to invent and distribute pathogens is a no-brainer.

But the show also makes it hard for anyone to really believe these things; there is nothing like a mainstream animated show to shatter dangerous beliefs. Moreover, none of the characters in the series are Jewish or even coded as such; one is a weird dolphin hybrid, the other is a mushroom alien and the others include a brother from the WASP-y fraternity, a black woman who runs the media, and a doctor who is only brilliant when he’s stoned. Reagan, the socially awkward main character and team boss, is voiced by Lizzy Caplan, who is Jewish, but the character has no sign of being a member of the tribe – no mention of a bat mitzvah or even demanding parents who want her to marry a doctor.

The show’s real commentary is about corporate America’s soullessness. Even Cognito’s Deep State Company responds to an even bigger secret cabal – an obscure board of directors, which looks a bit like the “Squid Game” guards. Many episodes revolve around having to chat with reptiles for funding, take mandatory awareness training, or avoid layoffs. Reagan has dedicated his life to his career, but is never promoted; meanwhile, thanks to her stubborn ambition, she has no friends and no romantic life to speak of.

The show has plenty of missteps – one episode that seems to poke fun at Asperger’s diagnosis, for example, was particularly tasteless, and many of the jokes seem one-dimensional. But he never strayed too far from the legitimization of a conspiracy theory.

There are a few things that could be interpreted as fodder for anti-Semitism, if you really look. Hollywood turns out to be full of disguised lizards, including Mark Zuckerberg. But Taylor Swift and Queen Elizabeth II are reptiles too – hard to imagine fewer Jewish celebrities. Additionally, if you were a staunch conspiracy theorist, you would likely see a cartoon usurping the Deep State as a Deep State controlled plan to redirect anyone who gets too close to the truth. (In this case, however, you’re probably a lost cause.)

Instead, the most dangerous aspect of the show might be that it portrays conspiracy theories as stupid. As absurd as it sounds, these kinds of false beliefs can lead to real world damage. Yet there is nothing that stops a bully like laughing in his face.

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