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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes it takes a village and good friends to combat antisemitism, something the Golden Girls exemplified on national television on Jan. 16th, 1988.
Originally Published Jan 7 2022 08:39AM EST