If someone was going to sue over an iPhone app called "Jew or Not Jew," I would have expected it to be an infringement claim coming from Saturday Night Live, or Al Franken, the Minnesota senator who wrote a sketch by that name which aired in 1988 here in the U.S. Instead, it was an action brought under France's anti-racism codes by groups offended by the quiz game, regardless of the fact a Jewish man coded it.
"Jew or Not Jew," was banished from France's iTunes App Store after the stink first arose in September, but it remained available in stores outside France, including the North American store for some time (it is now gone). The game tasked its players with identifying whether a celebrity was of Jewish descent or not. Penny Marshall, according to the SNL skit's big punchline (pictured), is in fact Italian.
The fact this all mirrored "Jew, Not a Jew," an outrageous 23-year-old Saturday Night Live sketch, seems to have eluded everyone, from those who found it Not Funny At All to the game's creator, Johann Levy. Back in September, he defended the game to Le Parisien as a recreational novelty.
"As a Jew myself I know that in our community we often ask whether a such-and-such celebrity is Jewish or not," he said. Maybe if he said the concept goes back to a Jewish comedy writer, for a show produced by a Jew, on a network at the time run by a Jew (although his own mother was said to be offended), Levy could have gotten out of this with no hassle. As it is, he's yanked the app from all stores in exchange for the suit being dropped.