Is Logan Roy of ‘Succession’ antisemitic?

As "Succession" heads into its final episodes, it's noteworthy to look at Logan Roy and his possible negative feelings toward Jews.
Brian Cox’s stellar acting garnered two Emmy nominations for Logan Roy, a manipulative character not so fond of Jews. (Photo Courtesy of HBO Max)

This article contains spoilers for “Succession.”

HBO Max’s “Succession,” a hit show about children who vie to take leadership of their father’s media conglomerate, Waystar Royco, has garnered a cult-like following.

As it heads into its final episodes, it is noteworthy to look at Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the company’s CEO. Logan is rough around the edges, often threatening and cursing at people and lying to his own children. To one of those children, his possible negative feelings toward Jews is a concern.

His son Kendall, played by Jeremy Strong, is first nervous about this in Season 1, Episode 4. Despite ill health, Logan decides he will make a speech, knowing that if anything goes wrong, it could greatly harm the company.

“When he opens his mouth, anything could come out, drool, antisemitism…” Kendall tells Gerry, lead counsel, played by J. Smith-Cameron.

That Gerry, who has worked for the company for many years, does not dispute Kendall’s assertion means that Logan must have said antisemitic things before.

It is noteworthy that in the first introduction of Kendall in the pilot, he is rapping along with a song by The Beastie Boys, composed of Jewish artists.

In Season 3, Episode 4, Connor Roy, played by Alan Ruck, tells his sister Shiv (Sarah Snook) that if he doesn’t get a good position in the company, he may tell the world the true nature of his father, Logan Roy.

“What was it they used to say around here?” he asks. “No Blacks, no Jews, no women above the fourth floor?”

Logan also refers to his son Kendall as “Judas.” As he tried to oust him as CEO in the climactic moment of the episode, Logan and Kendall meet with Jewish investor Josh Aaronson (played by Jewish Oscar winner Adrien Brody for his role in “The Piano”). 

They want him on their side as he has invested four percent. Kendall proposes the purchase of Gojo, which Josh says is overpriced. Josh complains he’s lost $350 million.

Kendall chastises Logan, telling him Josh hates him for his antisemitic “bagel and gold BS” after Logan comments that Josh is a city boy who is a bit far from his nearest “coffee and bagel.” It should be noted that promises of gold go to many characters, but only the bagel is included for Josh.

Logan makes racist comments at times. In an early scene in the series, Greg views a training video celebrating diversity that features what is purported to be Black, Hispanic and female employees but then sees a group of white males walk out of the office.

Creator Jesse Armstrong has said inspiration for the show comes from several families, though many viewers point to Rupert Murdoch, who is now 92 and has two sons. The show does well to show the complexity of the characters.

Kendall is correct to point out antisemitism and deserves praise. At the same time, he is hooked on cocaine, abrasive, and at times delusional. When he is involved in a car accident, rather than go to the police when the passenger, a server at the restaurant, has died, he allows it to be covered up.


Logan dies in the third episode of the fourth and last season, and the world is left to judge his legacy as a power broker, a man who was likely antisemitic and racist, and who also tried to cover up assaults against women on the cruise ships under his company. Currently, Kendall and Roman (Kieran Culkin) are both CEOs, but that could change in the final episodes.

In the most recent episode, Gojo head Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) tweeted “Doderick macht frei,” a play on the German phrase “Arbeit macht frei,” meaning “Work Sets You Free,” which infamously appeared at the entrance of Nazi concentration camps. Notably, Doderick is the company’s mascot.

While Matsson eventually deleted the abhorrent tweet, perhaps it was a commentary on how Logan’s antisemitism was swept under the rug due to the company’s financial success.

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