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Julianna Margulies and Susan Sarandon walk back Israel comments

Susan Sarandon, left, and Julianna Margulies both apologized for incendiary comments regarding the Israeli-Hamas war that many considered offensive.

Susan Sarandon, left, and Julianna Margulies both apologized for incendiary comments regarding the Israeli-Hamas war that many considered offensive. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images // Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Actors Susan Sarandon and Julianna Margulies are both backpedaling on incendiary statements they made about the Israel-Hamas war.

Margulies, star of “The Good Wife” and “The Morning Show,” appeared on the Nov. 20 episode of the “Back Room With Andy Ostroy” podcast. In the interview, she called pro-Palestinian protesters “kids who are spewing this antisemitic hate that have no idea if they stepped foot in an Islamic country — these people who want us to call them they/them, or whatever they want us to call them … It’s those people that will be the first people beheaded, and their heads played with [like] a soccer ball.”

“I wanna say to them, ‘You f- idiots. You don’t exist. Like, you’re even lower than the Jews — (A) you’re Black, and (B) you’re gay, and you’re turning your back against the people who support you?’” she continued. “The fact that the entire Black community isn’t standing with us to me says either they just don’t know, or they’ve been brainwashed to hate Jews.”

In a statement first reported by Deadline on Friday, Margulies did not disavow her comments, but said, “I am horrified by the fact that statements I made on a recent podcast offended the Black and LGBTQIA+ communities, communities I truly love and respect.”

“I want to be 100% clear,” she continued. “Racism, homophobia, sexism, or any prejudice against anyone’s personal beliefs or identity are abhorrent to me, full stop. Throughout my career I have worked tirelessly to combat hate of all kind, end antisemitism, speak out against terrorist groups like Hamas and forge a united front against discrimination. I did not intend for my words to sow further division, for which I am sincerely apologetic.”

Meanwhile, Sarandon walked back explosive statements aimed at American Jews fearing violence in the wake of the conflict.

In November, she spoke at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York, saying that American Jews who were frightened by antisemitic violence were “getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence.”

After those remarks, the actor was dropped by her talent agency UTA, who had represented her since 2014.

In a statement posted to Instagram on Friday, Sarandon said that “This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true.”

“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,” Sarandon added. “I deeply regret diminishing this reality and hurting people with this comment. It was my intent to show solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so.”


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