David Baddiel has said Jewish actors do not deserve to be abused for saying they should play Jewish roles.
The 57-year-old comedian has spoken out in defence of Coronation Street star Dame Maureen Lipman after she questioned why Dame Helen Mirren had been cast in former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in the forthcoming biopic Golda.
Baddiel wrote in The Guardian: "It is complex. At the end of the day, I don’t know the answer. But I think that I — and Maureen Lipman and any other Jew — should not be abused for asking the question."
The Three Lions singer said he believed the problem stemmed from Jewish people often not being considered to be a minority.
Watch: Maureen Lipman clarifies her comments on Helen Mirren playing Golda Meir
He said: "Jewish is the minority that you can cast with actors not of that minority, and hardly, until very recently, hear a whisper of concern.
"What you can hear, still, if you do raise the issue, is an extremely vehement reaction."
Baddiel went on to say that Jews are assumed, "anti-Semitically to be successful and privileged and powerful", and therefore their marginalisation is often overlooked.
The writer and TV presenter pointed out that mimicking any other "marginalised identity" is understood to be offensive, as it can "carry with it an element of mockery."
Baddiel revealed that rather than the term "Jewface" he prefers the phrase "Nebbish Being".
'Nebbish' derives from the Yiddish word nebekh and means a person who behaves in a submissive manner.
Baddiel argued that just as an actor mimicking stereotypical traits associated with being black, gay, trans, disabled or any other minority, a non Jewish actor using "Nebbish Being", would be "disrespectful, or at least not true, to Jews".
Referring Tamsin Greig's recent comments that she "probably shouldn't" have been cast as Jewish mother mother Jackie Goodman in Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner, Baddiel said he wasn't looking for apologies from non-Jewish actors.
He said: "I believe two things at once – that in an ideal world, non-Jews should be allowed to play Jews, but the fact this allowance already exists, and has up to this point received very little pushback is, in the modern casting context, a discrepancy, and one that needs to be deconstructed, because it says a lot about how people see Jews."