Skip to content
Subscriber Only

U.K. Theater Apologizes for Musk-Like Character With Jewish Name

The Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court Theatre

Photographer: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

London’s Royal Court Theatre has apologized after it was accused of antisemitism in mounting a play that features an Elon Musk-like character with a typically Jewish name.

In his new work “Rare Earth Mettle” playwright Al Smith used the name Hershel Fink for the character who “believes he can save the world building electric cars, and make millions of dollars in the process,” prompting accusations of antisemitic stereotyping on social media. Musk, who co-founded electric carmaker Tesla and is the world’s richest man, is not Jewish. 

The theater called the naming of the character a “mistake,” initially blaming unconscious bias. In a statement, the theater said it had agreed with Smith to change the name of the character to “Henry Finn” and said it will work hard in the hope of building trust and confidence within the Jewish community, apologizing for any harm caused.