You People

Raunchier take on serious debates

The cast of You People. Photo: Parrish Lewis/Netflix
The cast of You People. Photo: Parrish Lewis/Netflix

Were Jews the OG slaves? Can American slavery be compared to the Holocaust? And who gets the last word on Louis Farrakhan?

These questions have spurred very serious debates over time — and now will be getting a raunchier take in the new Netflix comedy You People that hits Netflix on January 27.

Starring Jewish funny man Jonah Hill, who also co-wrote the script with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, the film stars a visibly tattooed Hill as Ezra, a young Jewish man who falls in love with Amira, a Black woman played by Lauren London.

In a new trailer for the movie that opens with a scene shot at the Skirball Cultural Centre, a Jewish institution in Los Angeles, Hill’s Jewish parents, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny, seem to immediately bless the union following some awkward comments about hair and rappers.

It’s Amira’s parents, Akbar and Fatima (played by Eddie Murphy and Nia Long), who prove a tougher sell — particularly once Akbar, who says he identifies as Muslim, tells them he is a follower of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whose antisemitism is longstanding and well known.

“Are you familiar with the minister’s work?” Murphy asks Louis-Dreyfus. “I’m familiar with what he said about the Jews!” she replies.

Other awkward moments abound in the trailer, including a dinner-table argument about comparing slavery to the Holocaust. “Our people came here with nothing like everybody else,” says Louis-Dreyfus’s character, to cringes.

The new trailer’s density of Jewish jokes is sure to fuel an ongoing debate over Jewface, or whether it is appropriate for non-Jewish actors to be cast as Jewish characters. While Hill is Jewish – the star recently petitioned to drop his legal last name, Feldstein, because he has never used it professionally — his on-screen parents are not. But Duchovny and Louis-Dreyfus do have Jewish fathers, as does London.


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