"That's a very dangerous phrase, 'Jews control Hollywood.' What is true is that there are a lot of Jews in Hollywood," he said. Instead of "control," Foxman would prefer people say that many executives in the industry "happen to be Jewish," as in "all eight major film studios are run by men who happen to be Jewish."

But Foxman said he is proud of the accomplishments of American Jews. "I think Jews are disproportionately represented in the creative industry. They're disproportionate as lawyers and probably medicine here as well," he said. He argues that this does not mean that Jews make pro-Jewish movies any more than they do pro-Jewish surgery. Though other countries, I've noticed, aren't so big on circumcision.

I appreciate Foxman's concerns. And maybe my life spent in a New Jersey-New York/Bay Area-L.A. pro-Semitic cocoon has left me naive. But I don't care if Americans think we're running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street, or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.


Reprinted with permission from the Los Angeles Times.

Joel Stein contributes regularly to Time's Arts and Society sections. Prior to coming to Time, Stein was sports editor and columnist at Time Out New York for two years. He had also served as a researcher at TV Guide and as a researcher/writer for Martha Stewart Living magazine.  Born and raised in New Jersey, Stein graduated from Stanford University with a BA and MA in English. He currently resides in Manhattan. Read more: Joel Stein at Time.