Ilana Glazer's Political Event Canceled Due to Anti-Semitic Messages

BY MIA MONTALVO

It's the fourth and final night of Ilana Glazer's Generator Series and a sea of young motivated men and women are packed on the third floor of the Union Temple of Brooklyn in New York. A DJ is pumping out electronic beats and a plethora of positive vibes are flowing through a crowded ballroom of hopeful canvassers.

 PHOTO: Getty Images

PHOTO: Getty Images

Unfortunately, the anticipation of reaching young voters to participate in the upcoming midterm elections was silenced by hateful, anti-semitic messages. The messages were found at the synagogue only moments before the show was to start on Thursday night (November 1).

"The Generator Collective is a movement inspiring people who live in the U.S. to humanize policy through storytelling." Ilana Glazer, best known for her work as a stand-up comic, actress, and co-creator of Broad City. In midst of this commercial success, Glazer has decided to use her platform on a humorless issue in America: politics.

With the help of a few other young professionals, Glazer began this movement on social media by asking people to share how political policy has affected their lives through a short video, 90 seconds or less. Issues ranged from gun control to women's health care rights, to immigration. As this medium grew on Instagram, motivation sparked Glazer to create a live, four-part series where she would interview local candidates running in the midterm elections and activists who were fairly progressive.

Sadly, the night of November 1, white supremacy did the story-telling. According to The Times, hateful messages such as "Jews Better Be Ready," "End Is Now," "Insert Oven Here," and more were vandalized all over the Murmrr Theatre -- a synagogue located inside the Union Temple. Doors were supposed to open at 7:45 p.m. that night. By around 8:15 p.m., commotion began to arise as well as questions as to why the show had not started yet. Many began to wonder what was holding up the show as cops entered the building. Security had no information, and explained that Glazer herself would come out from backstage soon to speak to the crowd.

"Thank you for coming tonight. We have a situation…[it's] not presenting any immediate danger, but there were hateful, anti-Semitic shit scrawled all over the space today, very recently, within the past couple hours. So we don't feel safe," said Glazer.

She had planned to end the series by interviewing Amy Goodman, the host of the radio show "Democracy Now!" as well as two candidates for New York State Senate, Andrew Gounardes and Jim Gaughran.

And last night, I was like so ready. I have these beautiful, bright people ready to go, ready to canvass, ready to do — you know, I intended to point people in the community to canvass, to knock on doors and change the local elections, to win for — to help progressive candidates who stand for human rights politics to win.
— Glazer, Democracy Now!

This unexpected, yet eye-opening experience had only occurred one week after the terrible mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Glazer commented on how eerie this made the situation. With careful consideration and examination of the messages, Glazer determined it was not safe to continue with the event and called for a cancellation.

Before people filed out safely from the temple, Glazer stood up on a chair and encouraged people to still make it out to the polls and to fight even harder for what they believe is right. White supremacy silenced these messages and the many individuals enthusiastic for change. The experience itself was a realization of how prevalent hate is still in America, and as a young Jewish woman myself it opened my eyes to an even sadder reality.

Lead Image Credit: Getty Images