'Who Is This Smurfette? Leave Me Alone With All That Nonsense'

On the line with Yisrael Diamant, CEO of the Hutzot Zahav public relations firm.

A Smurfs ad in a Bnei Brak neighborhood with Smurfette removed, March 2017.
Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Hello?

Is that Yisrael Diamant, the owner of Hutzot Zahav?

Yes.

Hello, this is Nir Gontarz. I write for Haaretz. How are you?

Who? Who is that?

A journalist from Haaretz. It’s about the Smurfette.

Who?

The Smurfette.

What? Who is this Smurfette?

It’s a cartoon character.

And how am I connected to her?

Your company, Hutzot Zahav, put up a billboard advertising a new Smurf movie, but unlike in the rest of the country where a Smurfette was part of the display, she was taken off in Bnei Brak.

How did they do that?

You tell me.

How would I know? You ask me questions about what my guys put up. How would I know? I don’t deal with these matters.

I called the company and they wouldn’t tell me who makes the decisions. One person told me he signed an agreement prohibiting him from talking a bit like the Shin Bet security service. They wouldn’t even tell me who the company's CEO is.

Great, very good. Good for them.

You’re familiar with the Smurfs I assume?

No, not really.

You don’t know these characters?

I knew them when I was little.

So you know that in their village they have one poor little Smurfette. A female.

Are you really asking me these questions?

Listen, there’s a new Smurf movie, so your company put up billboards across the country with three Smurfs and one Smurfette. In Bnei Brak the billboard didn’t have the Smurfette on it. She disappeared because in Bnei Brak it’s forbidden to post an image of a female. Does this make sense?

That it’s forbidden to display a drawing of a female? I don’t know, I have no idea.

Why do you agree to this?

I have no idea, I really don’t know.

You’re the owner, aren’t you?

Don’t you realize that I get the finished graphics?

You got graphics with a Smurfette. That’s what you displayed throughout the country.

Hey man, without knowing what you’re talking about, I certainly didn’t remove her. We certainly didn’t cut her out.

The film company says it didn’t do it and you decided to do it so as not to offend the residents there.

So check with them again.

They say it was you.

Can I on my own take something off a display we’re given to advertise? The most I can do is tell them not to advertise it.

Tell me, is there a CEO in your company or are you the CEO?

Who?

Is there a CEO?

It’s me, me, me.

Would you like to check again if it was your company that took out the Smurfette so as not to offend the sensibilities of Bnei Brak residents?

Enough already why is that so interesting?

If I told you not to hang up signs with Ashkenazi Jews on them because it offends me, would you agree to that?

No.

Would you take out Ethiopian Jews?

No?

And Jews?

No.

So why is there censorship of females in Bnei Brak?

Are you starting up with that again?

Have you ever displayed a billboard with a woman on it in Bnei Brak?

It’s not us.

But you never put up girls in Bnei Brak, if I understand correctly.

So we don’t. What do you want from me?

Why do you agree to that?

I don’t know. Who told you I agree? Man, I don’t agree and it doesn’t interest me. Leave me alone with all that nonsense.

It doesn’t interest you?

No, that’s it, bye.