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.
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.
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hi 🙋🏻. my friends & i are creating a platform for people who live in the US 🇺🇸to *talk to each other* about how the government is affecting them. it's an app called Generator aka @generatorcollective and we need some content to start us off. be it as macro as DACA or the GOP tax bill or as micro as having limited access to birth control, or you were stopped-and-frisked, iz perfect for Generator. we want to humanize policy through storytelling.💜send vids to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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My friends surprised me for my birthday tonight with tickets to see @ilanusglazer speak at @generatorcollective - a series of talks with activists and politicians about the importance of voting and humanizing politics. Unfortunately, after waiting for over an hour to enter the auditorium, we were notified that some emboldened bigot had covered the walls of the Jewish temple that was housing the event with anti-Semitic symbols and slurs. Organizers felt unsafe and uncomfortable carrying on with the event, and rightfully shut it down. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO ELECT GOOD PEOPLE INTO OFFICE. This is why we gathered tonight. This is why we protest and demand real, direct action against acts of hate and violence. Thank you to the ever-badass @ilanusglazer and Amy Goodman of @democracynow for putting these kinds of events together and staying strong in the face of incredible intolerance. We will not be stopped or silenced. Your hate has no place in this country. ✊🏽 #VOTE
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.
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