Actress Susan Sarandon apologized Friday for comments she made “diminishing” the history of antisemitism at a recent pro-Palestinian rally.
“Recently, I attended a rally alongside a diverse group of activists seeking to highlight the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call for a ceasefire,” Sarandon wrote in a post on Instagram. “I had not planned to speak but was invited to take the stage and say a few words.”
The Hollywood star was caught on video last month claiming that lots of people are “afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often objected to violence” during a protest in New York City related to the ongoing war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Sarandon said her comments were intended to communicate her concern for the “increase in hate crimes” across the globe.
“This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true,” Sarandon wrote. “As we all know, from centuries of oppression and genocide in Europe, to the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, PA, Jews have long been familiar with discrimination and religious violence which continues to this day.”
“I deeply regret diminishing this reality and hurting people with this comment,” Sarandon continued. “It was my intent to show solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so.”
In response to her comments, the actress was dropped by her talent agency, according to reports.
In the two weeks that followed Hamas’s initial Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has reported a 388 percent spike in antisemitic incidents — compared to the same period in 2022.
“When conflict erupts in Israel, antisemitic incidents soon follow in the U.S. and globally,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a release.
“From white supremacists in California displaying antisemitic banners on highway overpasses to radical anti-Zionists harassing Jewish people because of their real or perceived support for the Jewish state, we are witnessing a disturbing rise in antisemitic activity here while the war rages overseas,” he added.
Sarandon concluded her apology with a vow to remain committed to “peace, truth, justice, and compassion for all.”
“I hope that we can meet with love and willingness to engage in dialogue, especially with those with whom we disagree,” the actress added.