‘Heartbreaking’ and ‘enlightening’: Viewers, stars and critics on David Baddiel’s documentary Jews Don’t Count

David Baddiel brought out an agenda-shifting new documentary called Jews Don’t Count on Monday night (21 November), and it’s kept people talking ever since.

In the show, which aired on Channel 4, the author and comedian argues that antisemitism isn’t considered to be as unacceptable as other forms of discrimination, even among those who are vocal in their support of other minority groups.

Stars including David Schwimmer, Stephen Fry, Sarah Silverman and Miriam Margolyes talk to Baddiel on camera about their experiences of antisemitism in the documentary, which is a follow-up to Baddiel’s 2021 book of the same title.

Many have been praising the programme on Twitter, with actor Eddie Marsan writing: “#jewsdontcount the original book by @Baddiel was absolutely fascinating and the @Channel4 documentary tonight was just as enlightening. Heartbreaking to see my old mate @andynyman sharing the difficulty he’s faced but his last exchange with David was hilarious.”

Another viewer wrote: “What’s surprising, and shocking, about #jewsdontcount is it’s 2022 and tonight’s the first time I’ve ever watched anything on TV that so clearly articulates the modern Jewish experience in these ‘progressive’ times.”

“Everyone should watch @Baddiel’s #jewsdontcount, and hear Jewish people’s actual, current, lived experience of antisemitism,” tweeted another. “These experiences are no more up for debate than any other experiences of racism or discrimination.”

Jews Don’t Count also received with The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson calling it a documentary “so shocking it sounds like a siren”.

The Times’s Ben Dowell, meanwhile, wrote: “This smart, impressive programme left you with an abiding sense that the most dangerous people in today’s world aren’t just those on the racist right – dangerous though they certainly are – but also those who are so convinced of their own correct-thinking virtue that they become devoid of self-examination and so often think and do terrible things. This was important.”

After the programme aired, many pointed out the surge of antisemitism on Twitter that came in response to the documentary.

“Nothing reinforces @Baddiel’s #JewsDontCount like looking at the comments under the hashtag,” posted one person. “Or the fact that he has to log off social media when it’s broadcast. Or the fact that people are claiming he has privilege to even talk about antisemitism.”

“Well, the #jewsdontcount hashtag tonight is doing a fine job of illustrating @Baddiel’s point,” added another. “The anti-Jewish racism on here is so nasty, so prevalent and so overt. Miserable stuff.”

Responding to that tweet, food critic Jay Rayner wrote: “Tom’s not wrong. The way people are responding to and using the hashtag #jewsdontcount just reenforces @Baddiel’s argument. V depressing. And now I’m locking comments on this tweet, because. Which is also v depressing.”

Jews Don’t Count is available now on Channel4.com.