About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]

Address

MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

The New York Times criticized due to the offensive pattern that appears in crossword puzzle

Let’s talk about a very controversial symbol in history: the Swastika.

If you were knowledgeable enough and have done further research on it, you might have read that the symbol itself isn’t entirely bad; rather, it is quite the opposite. It is actually an ancient religious and cultural symbol mainly used in Eurasian, African, and American cultures.

In the religions of India, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, for example, the Swastika is still a symbol of divinity and spirituality. The word even comes from the Sanskrit word ‘svastika’, which means “conducive to well-being”.

We’ll spare you the other details (because you can surely do research on your own) but overall, in other cultures, the Swastika isn’t at all distasteful. The association of it only turned sour and hostile was thanks to the Nazi Party in Germany during the 20th century.

There’s no need for us to include a short history lesson regarding the Swastika, the Nazi Party, and the Jews, but we do hope you remember these key words: Adolf Hitler, Nazism, Jews, the Holocaust, Antisemitism.

Now, onto the present.

Jews all around the world have started celebrating their “Christmas” festivity, Hanukkah. This is an annual celebration being held for 5 days. This year, it began on December 18, 2022 at sunset, and will end on December 26, 2022 at nightfall.

On the same day, the New York Times published a crossword puzzle with blank spaces that coincidentally looked like the now-controversial symbol. Many internet users pointed this out—Jewish or non-Jewish, and called the attention of the prominent newspaper.

@nomeatmashers

#stitch with @livschreiber I have never in my entire career seen such a clear and explicit hate symbol incorporated into a design. The NYT has done this on purpose.

♬ Waltz of the Flowers – Pëtr Il’ič Tchaikovsky

To make things more interesting, this wasn’t the first time it happened. The first time the New York Times published a similar crossword puzzle pattern was back in 2017. This was how they responded then:

If their mistake 5 years ago resurfaced, then it’s clear that the New York Times hasn’t learned from the backlash they received back then, and that they’ve made their ideologies crystal clear to the whole world.

Antisemitism is still at large, and there are even famous personalities undeniably promoting them. The least thing media companies can do is to be more critical and cautious about their graphics and how it would affect audiences coming from various cultures, despite being in one big country.

As of writing, the New York Times hasn’t addressed the controversy regarding the crossword puzzle.

Other POP! stories that you might like:

Fed up New York Times editors turn over FB cooking group to members

Why does it seem like every book is a #1 New York Times bestseller?

The writing’s always been on the wall: Kanye West has always had questionable viewpoints

FB accounts with AI-generated fake profile photos has significantly increased, Meta reports

Pokémon will continue on their story without Ash and Pikachu

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

[forminator_form id="331316"]
About Author

Senior Writer

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Related Stories

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Popping on POP!