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Julianna Margulies apologizes for saying Black people have been ‘brainwashed to hate Jews’

Margulies, who plays a lesbian character on “The Morning Show,” also shared outrage at Black and queer people for supporting Palestinians.
/ Source: NBC News

During a podcast interview on the war between Israel and Hamas, actor Julianna Margulies asserted that Black people should be completely supporting Israel but have been “brainwashed to hate Jews.”

The claims that are just going viral were delivered on a Nov. 21 episode of “The Back Room With Andy Ostroy,” a podcast described as a humorous and honest take on politics and pop culture. The conversation was on the war in the Gaza Strip and Ostroy brought up “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” a 2022 documentary by Ken Burns.

Margulies, who is Jewish, jumped on it. “It should be mandatory watching, especially for the Black community, if I may, because Hitler got his entire playbook from the Jim Crow South,” she said.  

Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies. Roy Rochlin / Getty Images file

Margulies, star of “The Good Wife” on CBS and Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show,” added: “The Nazis were watching how the Jim Crow South were treating slaves and said, ‘Oh, great call, let’s do that playbook. That’s what we’ll do to the Jews.’ Which is also why, in the Civil Rights Movement, the Jews were the ones that walked side by side with the Blacks to fight for their rights, because they know. And now the Black community isn’t embracing us and saying, ‘We stand with you the way you stood with us’?”

Margulies added that Jewish allies died for the cause of civil rights. But decades later, as the Israel-Hamas war ramps up, Democratic voters, and specifically Black voters, have been less emphatic about expressing support for Israelis versus Palestinians. 

“Where’s the history lesson in that? Who’s teaching these kids?” she asked. “Because 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. But when you’ve been marginalized so much as a community, the way I feel we have, isn’t that when you step up?”

She added that “this country would be in an uproar” if bus drivers had walked out, stranding about 900 area people from a Detroit-area Jewish group who were trying to attend a march for Israel in Washington, D.C., last month. “But because it happened to the Jews, for some reason, it’s laughable,” she said.

Margulies also mentioned a flyer for a screening of Black lesbian films on campus at Columbia University in October. A message shared with the flyer online read, “Zionists aren’t invited.” While doubling down on her messaging, the organizer of the event told the New York Post that it did not mean all Jewish people were disinvited.

“And as someone who plays a lesbian journalist on ‘The Morning Show,’ I am more offended by it as a lesbian than I am as a Jew, to be honest with you,” she said. “Because I wanna say to them, ‘You f---ing 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?’ Because Jews, they rally around everybody.”

Margulies issued a statement apologizing for her words.

“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,” Margulies said. “I want to be 100% clear: 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.”

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