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An Open Letter to Polish Americans

November 20, 2007

An Open Letter to Polish Americans

On November 14, 2007, Fox 5 broadcast aired syndicated TV episode of the sitcom „Back to you” all over the country. The show was presented in prime time (8:00 PM), and the ratings show that the episode titled „Something’s Up There” was watched by 7,300,000 viewers...

Dear Friends,

On November 14, 2007, Fox 5 broadcast aired syndicated TV episode of the sitcom „Back to you” all over the country. The show was presented in prime time (8:00 PM), and the ratings show that the episode titled „Something’s Up There” was watched by 7,300,000 viewers.

A journalist of Polish background, named Gary Crezyzewski, happens to be one of the characters. In that particular episode his fellow, trying to talk him into representing a TV station in a bowling tournament, says to him: "Come on Crezyzewski, you’re the best bowler at this station. It’s in your Polish blood, like kielbasa, collaborating with the Nazis."

Those words are followed by a studio generated sitcom laughter, clearly louder than at other moments. Crezyzewski himself does not react to those remarks in any way.

You can easily retrieve this bit from the internet at http://www.fox.com/fod/player.htm?show=backtoyou. The words, libeling Polish Americans and Poles, are said between 1 min. 45 sec. and 1 min. 55 sec. of the film.

This scandalous derogatoriness is of a much different character than the infamous lapses of some media of the “Polish death camps” type. The latter, though inexcusable, may be a result of ignorance, simplification or thoughtless emphasis put wrongly and exclusively on the geographical location. But TV Fox 5 clearly employed a disdainful stereotype of ethnic humiliation consciously by mixing an ordinary symbol of Polishness in the US with the damaging accusation of a Nazi collaboration.

TV series dialogs at the stage of script must go through a multi-layered process of approval at Fox Studios. Thus, one may rule out it being incidental. A popular and much watched TV program has offended us all in a premeditated way.

Hereby I appeal to Polish Americans to demand a public and irrevocable apology from Fox television, as well as the necessary redress before the next episode of the series is broadcast. The smug, half-hearted apologies, which can be found on some Polish websites (but completely absent from the sites of the caliber of www.fox.com or www.foxnews.com), can bring us no satisfaction.

Similar insults towards other ethnic or racial groups may bring a disgraceful firing of journalists or script writers, and their superiors are bound to offer a public and unequivocal apology.
 
This is where our protests should be directed:


K. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman & Chief Executive
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

Joseph Earley
Executive Vice President
Fox Broadcasting Company
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035                          
tel. (310) 369-2969, fax (310) 369-8471
e-mail joe.earley@fox.com


I should like to assure you that Poland will forcefully present her arguments when fighting this scandalous event. We shall do everything possible to have the damage done through this libel to Poles and Polish Americans repaired.

I should like to assure you that Poland will forcefully present her arguments when fighting this scandalous event. We shall do everything possible to have the damage done through this libel to Poles and Polish Americans repaired.
 
Krzysztof W. Kasprzyk
Consul General of Poland in New York
November 19, 2007
www.PolishConsulateNY.org