Why was ‘shalom’ erased from a Netflix promo co-produced by Jay-Z?

Promotion for ‘Time’ series – co-produced by Jay-Z – removes Hebrew word from rapper’s T-shirt.

May 28, 2018 19:09
1 minute read.
Why was ‘shalom’ erased from a Netflix promo co-produced by Jay-Z?

Jay-z's edited shirt, before and after. (photo credit: NETFLIX SCREENSHOT)


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A documentary series – co-produced by rapper Jay-Z – hit Netflix last year, telling the story of a high school student imprisoned for three years without even being convicted of a crime.

The series Time: The Kalief Browder Story premiered in March 2017, but it wasn’t until this week that one eagle-eyed Israeli viewer noted something about the show’s promotion: the word “shalom” in Hebrew had been deleted from the rapper’s T-shirt.

Yair Kivaiko, an Israeli who works for a local start-up, posted on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday wondering why the image – featuring Jay-Z standing next to Browder – had been edited.

“Hey @netflix, why doesn’t the ‘Time’ series cover show the full writing on Jay-Z’s shirt, with the Hebrew writing?” Kivaiko wrote, sharing both the original and edited images.

In the fifth episode of the six-part series, the original image is shown, featuring Jay-Z with his arm around Browder. In the series itself, the word “shalom,” meaning “peace,” is written in Hebrew, English and Arabic. On the Netflix home screen for the film, however, the same image is shown, but the Hebrew word has been airbrushed out. Just a hint of the word in Arabic can still be seen on the bottom of the screen.

A representative for Netflix in Israel would only provide a one-sentence reaction to a question from The Jerusalem Post.

“The word ‘Peace’ is a universal word understood by every viewer,” it said.

A representative for Jay-Z’s public relations agency did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

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