Michael Winner, Jewish Director of 'Death Wish' Action Flicks, Dies at 77

British Filmmaker Created Action Series Starring Charles Bronson

By Reuters

Published January 21, 2013.
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Many in the UK and United States criticized the book for being tasteless and perpetuating old stereotypes.

Michael Winner
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Michael Winner

In an article in the San Diego Jewish World (http://www.sdjewishworld.com/2012/10/09/hymie-joke-book-is-insulting-tasteless/) , editor Danny Bloom wrote: “ [Winner’s] new book is what I consider to be a tasteless collection of old and stale — and often tasteless — Jewish jokes. Some of them are funny, yes. But the main character in all the jokes is a bloke named ‘Hymie.’ I guess Mr. Winner never heard of Jesse Jackson’s unfortunate ‘hymietown’ remark a few years ago that landed Jackson in hot water.”

“I found many of the jokes in this collection tedious or vulgar. At their sexiest, good Jewish jokes are merely suggestive,” Jonathan Mirsky added in a review for the Spectator (http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/8755991/all-in-the-telling/) .

But Michael Winner disagreed. Writing about the book in the Daily Mail’s Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2213810/Michael-Winners-Hymie-Joke-Book-Jewish-humour.html) in October, Winner said: “Those who suffer persecution or deprivation in their lives make jokes of their situation – and the Jews have always had a wonderful world-weary way of using put downs.”

Winner, whose appearance in adverts for motor insurance coined the catchphrase “Calm down dear, it’s only a commercial”, also founded and funded the Police Memorial Trust following the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984.


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