In the wake of Kyrie Irving promoting an antisemitic film on his social media platforms, the public outrage has been directed at Kyrie Irving. According to ESPN analyst Jay Williams, Amazon (which makes the film available for rental or purchase) deserves similar ridicule.
“Where is that same attention and energy for the platform that is promoting it and profiting off of it,” Williams asked Wednesday morning on First Take. “I don’t hear any of that talk around Jeff Bezos and Amazon. I hear everybody skewing their anger towards Kyrie for taking a picture of it and tweeting about it.”
It’s important to note that Williams reiterated he is not excusing Irving for amplifying a film with antisemitic tropes. But he does believe Amazon deserves equal outrage for selling products that promote hate speech.
Jay Williams believes Amazon should receive the same outrage that's being directed at Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/3MI5Hrzq6Q
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) November 2, 2022
“Why is it on a major platform? Why is a major platform amplifying it?,” Williams continued about Amazon. “Kyrie amplified it to 14.7 million people, but the platform is profiting and promoting it to billions of people…Kyrie Irving deserves a lot of heat, then put heat towards something where it deserves it too, and that’s on the platform. And I feel like that whole thing is being missed here.”
According to Amazon’s offensive products policy, the company prohibits the sale of products that graphically portray, promote, incite, or glorify hatred, violence, victims of violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance. However, the policy does not apply to books, music, or video.
There is certainly a case to be made that Amazon, YouTube, and other platforms should not be allowed to offer content that encourages or portrays hate speech. But a celebrity promoting hate speech is always going to draw more attention and outrage than the platform that stores it.
Golfers joining LIV Golf are condemned more than the various corporations that have business relationships with Saudi Arabia, because those star athletes are positioned as ambassadors to the Saudi regime. Similarly, while Amazon offers the film in question, Irving positioned himself as a supporter of its offensive narratives by promoting it. The concept of condemning Amazon is not wrong, but reality dictates that questioning an individual’s support of something offensive is much easier than questioning an ecommerce giant for containing something offensive in its library.