Jews in the News: Milana Vayntraub, Jason Alexander and Paul Lieberstein

An Office Comedy for Labor Day; Sandberg Re-Marries; Busey, Victim of Karma?

“Out-of-Office” is an original Comedy Central film that premieres on Sept. 5 (Labor Day) at 7PM. The film focuses on how the private lives of “out-of-office” (at-home) workers often gets mixed-up with their work lives.  The central character is a “young woman” who finds out that keeping her job is somehow tied to helping her boss save his failing marriage (Oddly, character names aren’t available before the premiere).
MILANA VAYNTRUB, 35, plays the young woman. Vayntrub, who is very youthful looking, is best known for playing Lily, the store salesperson in the AT&T TV ads.  JASON ALEXANDER, 62, and “SNL” vet Cheri Oteri play her parents. 
From the trailer, it appears that comic actor Ken Jeong plays Vayntrub’s boss. Two African-American SNL vets, Jay Pharoah and Leslie Jones, round-out the remaining big-name stars. 
The film was directed and written by PAUL LIEBERSTEIN, 55. He’s a member of the most remarkable Jewish entertainment biz family that you probably never heard of.  Paul was an executive producer of “The Office”; wrote many “Office” episodes; and acted “a bit” in the series. 
His brother-in-law, GREG DANIELS, 59, is a five-time Emmy winner—he was a top SNL writer and a top "Simpsons" writer before he successfully adapted the (original) British version of “The Office” for American audiences. He also co-created "Parks and Recreation". Greg’s father, AARON, 87, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, was head of ABC radio broadcasting. 
Greg’s wife, SUSANNE DANIELS, 57 (Paul’s sister) has helped develop many hit TV shows and she’s held many top entertainment media posts. She’s  now “Global Head of Content” for Youtube. She was LORNE MICHAEL’s (SNL creator) secretary when Greg met her. The couple have four, probably funny, children.  
SHERYL SANDBERG, 52, the Chief Operating Officer of Meta (Facebook), married executive TOM BERNTHAL, 50, on August 20. The couple reportedly bought out the Four Seasons Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the weekend. The guests included Tom’s brother, actor JON BERNTHAL, 44 (“Walking Dead”, “King Richard”). 
Its likely a rabbi presided at the wedding.  “People” reports that the couple did a modified version of the Jewish wedding tradition of the groom and bride circling each other seven times. Sheryl circled Tom once and he circled her—then Tom’s three kids (with his ex-wife) and Sheryl’s two kids (with her late husband) circled Sheryl and Tom five times. 
Sandberg’s husband, high tech exec DAVE GOLDBERG, was 47 when he had fatal heart attack in 2015. I presume that Bernthal’s ex-wife, Lauren Pomeranz, is Jewish, too. They divorced in 2020. 
Reports say that Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN, 60, was at the wedding. This makes sense--- Tom Bernthal has long ties to the Democratic Party. He began his working life in the White House communications office during the Clinton administration. He went on to produce many NBC news programs. Currently, he is the head of a big marketing company. 
Sandberg will step down from her Meta post this fall, but will remain on the company’s board. She got a lot of good press as the author of “Leaning In” (2013), a best-selling guide for professional women. In the last few years, she and Facebook founder MARK ZUCKERBERG have attracted fierce criticism for Facebook’s “shortcomings”— #1 being its glacial pace in removing hate speech and Russian/domestic disinformation.
You might have heard that actor Gary Busey, 78, was arrested for sexual assault on August 19. 
He allegedly groped several women at a fan convention in New Jersey. On Aug. 20, he was seen with his pants off at a Los Angeles beach.
He has excuses: He's elderly and he did suffer some brain damage in a 1988 motorcycle accident. However, I don't feel at all sorry for him and neither should you. In 2006, Busey played an American Jewish doctor in the viciously anti-Semitic Turkish action movie “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq”.  Busey’s doctor character, aided by an American military officer (played by Billy Zane of “Titanic” fame), “harvested” body organs from Iraqi civilians and brought them to Israel. 
This anti-Semitism led to the movie being banned in Germany and it was hardly shown in the United States (the anti-Semitic scenes were cut out in America) .
Busey got few good roles after his Oscar-nominated role in “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978) and by 2006 he probably needed money. However, he certainly wasn't starving. Simply put, he “sold his soul” for a paycheck. Busey got little blowback for playing the doctor because the “Valley of the Wolves” scandal was hardly reported in America. But if there is karma, it has finally come down really hard on Gary Busey. 


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