That time The Golden Girls told an antisemite to ‘go to hell’

On national television, Jewish actor Bea Arthur showed the world the correct way to respond to antisemitism
Dorothy's new author friend in Season 3, episode 15 has an antisemitism problem. (Courtesy: Hulu)

If you’re like us and rewatching The Golden Girls in honor of Betty White you may have come across this powerful moment in season 3.


The Golden Girls showed the world the best way to respond to an antisemite. ##goldengirls ##tv ##bettywhite ##hate

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In episode 15, Dorothy’s new author friend is a bit of a pretentious snob and causes a rift between Blanche and Rose. But things really get heated when Sophia (Dorothy’s mom) brings Murray Guttman, a nice Jewish boy, home.

Dorothy’s antisemitic friend sizes up the situation. (Courtesy: Hulu)

The group is supposed to be going to Miami’s fanciest country club for dinner but we soon find out that the club has a no Jew policy.

Dorothy’s friend then gives a great example of passive antisemitism saying “besides it’s their policy not mine” when challenged on why she belongs to such a club.

Passively endorsing antisemitism is antisemitism. (Courtesy: Hulu)

Dorothy’s response is perfect: “but you tolerate it.”

The scene ends with Dorothy telling her now ex-friend to “go to hell” with the in studio audience breaking out into applause.

The perfect response when facing antisemitism. (Courtesy: Hulu)

Bea Arthur, the actress who played Dorothy in the series, was raised in a Jewish home and faced antisemitism while growing up saying that she was treated as a “misfit” in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“I’m not playing a role,” she once said in an interview. “I’m being myself, whatever the hell that is.”

That’s what makes this scene all the better. Dorothy, Bea, a Jewish woman, is speaking for all of us when she told the antisemite off.

Thank you for being a friend. (Courtesy: Hulu)

Sometimes it takes a village and good friends to combat antisemitism, something the Golden Girls exemplified on national television on Jan. 16th, 1988.