Newspaper Apologizes for 'Shylock' Crossword Clue

Editors of Tribune Media issued an official apology after newspaper published an offensive 'Shylock' crossword clue.

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Rina Tzvi ,

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The editors of Tribune Media issued a formal apology on Sunday after the newspaper published an offensive clue in a crossword puzzle that portrayed Jews in a negative lights.

The editors issued an official apology for a clue in a syndicated crossword puzzle that sought the response “Jew” to the clue, “Shylock, e.g.”—a reference to the grotesque stereotypically Jewish character from Shakespeare’s play, “The Merchant of Venice.”

The apology came in repose to a June 28 letter written by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) that condemned the offensive clue.

In the apology, the Chicago-based syndicate’s managing editor wrote: “The puzzle should not have been distributed with that clue, and we apologize for the offense it caused.  The issue has been discussed with the creators and editors involved, and the clue will not be used again in a Tribune Media Services crossword.”

“We commend Tribune Media Services for acknowledging our concerns and concerns from readers and taking swift action in response,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement.  “They have made clear to us that they understood this was an offensive stereotype, and that the Shylock clue should never have made it into the puzzle.”

The League has also received a written apology from the crossword editor at The Los Angeles Times, one of the many papers that carried the offending puzzle. ADL has also been in contact with editors at several other newspapers through its regional offices to discuss the crossword.