Andrew Garfield in "Tick, Tick ... BOOM!"
Andrew Garfield in "Tick, Tick ... BOOM!"

Drake nixes Grammys; Jon Stewart talks Harry Potter; Larry David is bald; etc.

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Drake nixes Grammys

Everyone’s favorite Canadian Jewish singer and rapper, Drake, has withdrawn himself from the Grammys, which will be held Jan. 31 in Los Angeles. He’d been nominated for best rap album and best rap performance. He hasn’t said why he pulled out, but Drake has taken issue with the awards ceremony before, including in 2017 when his “Hotline Bling” won best rap song even though it’s all singing. “The only category they can manage to fit me in is a rap category,” he said at the time. “Maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m Black.”

Embracing the bald

Larry David is an inspiration. But not because of his comedy — at least, not for Guardian writer Stuart Heritage, who penned an ode to the actor because of his baldness, calling David “my uncontested bald oracle.” Heritage is inspired by the way David, 74, has frequently made quips about going bald and how to deal with it. The lesson? Be better than everyone else. “We have to have a little more going for us than the hair man,” David wrote in New York Times Magazine. “And we do.”

Larry David at the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Season 9 premiere at the SVA Theater in New York, Sept. 27, 2017. (Photo/JTA-Jamie McCarthy-Getty Images)
Larry David at the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 9 premiere at the SVA Theater in New York, Sept. 27, 2017. (Photo/JTA-Jamie McCarthy-Getty Images)

Matchmaker, matchmaker

Former basketball pro Amar’e Stoudemire, who became an Orthodox Jew after living in Israel and playing for Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv, announced on social media that he’s ready for a shidduch, a match made by a matchmaker. The former All-Star player for the Phoenix Suns divorced in 2019 after being named in a paternity case; he made it clear he is currently looking for a Jewish partner.

A very Potter stereotype

The “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling is beloved by many. But some Jewish people have a slight problem with the money-grubbing, big-nosed goblins that run the magic world’s bank. On his podcast, comedian Jon Stewart recently talked about the first time he saw the movies. He was shocked at the blatancy of the antisemitic stereotype. “It was one of those things where I saw it on the screen and I was expecting the crowd to be like, ‘Holy shit!’ She did not, in a wizarding world, just throw Jews in there to run the [expletive] underground bank!’” But he said most people don’t notice. (He later clarified that he does not actually think the “Harry Potter” movies or Rowling are antisemitic.)

About to blow up

Tony Award–winner Andrew Garfield sat down with the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle to talk about his Jewish roots and his new turn as the star of the film “tick, tick…BOOM!” about the late Jonathan Larson, who wrote “Rent.” Said Garfield: “The fact that we’re both Jewish artists, I think that’s a very specific breed.” He added that the Jewish experience of persecution “can only enhance our empathy for anyone else going through that same kind of injustice and threat of physical annihilation.”

Death in Hollywood

Eve Babitz, whom the New York Times called a “hedonist with a notebook,” died at 78 last month. Babitz is remembered as a seminal figure in the rock ’n’ roll world of 1970s Los Angeles. A Hollywood insider with a sharp wit and a gift for observation, she was known, in her early years, for her roster of famous lovers, but she was also a gifted writer of essays and fiction.

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.