NBC has decided to pull an episode of its Canadian import medical drama Nurses from its various digital presences tonight, after accusations that its depiction of an Orthodox Jewish family in a recent episode were antisemitic. Per THR, the scene in question—which aired as part of the episode “Achilles Heel,” on February 3—featured a young Orthodox man who protested after being told he would need to receive a bone graft from a cadaver to treat a leg injury. Despite there being no restrictions in Orthodox Judaism against tissue transplants from the dead, both the young man and his father protest, asking what might happen if he received tissue from “an Arab” or “a woman.”
The show’s portrayal of stereotypes about Orthodox Judaism has drawn censure from a number of groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and B’nai Brith Canada, with the latter group issuing a statement that they’re calling on “the producers to act responsibly and take accountability for this outrage.”
As we noted above, Nurses isn’t an NBC production; instead, the network licensed the medical drama from Canadian distributor/producer Entertainment One, in the hopes of patching some holes in its COVID-thinned schedule. Beyond pulling the episode in question from all future airings, NBC declined to comment on its content, although Entertainment One has issued a statement of its own, apologizing for the episode and noting that the company is “working to understand what transpired and ensure our research practices are exhaustive moving forward and lead only to well-informed storylines.
It’s important that we address the recent feedback we’ve received related to the portrayal of Jewish beliefs in the ‘Achilles Heel’ episode of our series Nurses. We take matters of this nature very seriously and deeply regret all inaccuracies related to religious beliefs as well as the negative portrayal of any religious community in our content, characters and storylines. We sincerely apologize to the Jewish community, our viewers and series fans, and are working to understand what transpired and ensure our research practices are exhaustive moving forward and lead only to well-informed storylines.
Nurses aired its season finale on February 23. THR notes that it’s unlikely to return for another season on NBC.