The Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon apologized Friday for saying at a pro-Palestinian rally last month that people feeling afraid of being Jewish right now were “getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence.”
The remarks drew widespread criticism and soon afterward her agency, United Talent Agency, let it be known that it had dropped her as a client.
In a statement posted to Instagram Friday night, Sarandon said that she had been trying to communicate her concern for rising hate crimes. “This phrasing was a terrible mistake,” she said, “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,” she said, referring to the synagogue shooting that killed 11 and wounding six others in the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history, “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,” she said of her remarks at the Nov. 17 rally. “It was my intent to show solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so.”
Antisemitic incidents and Islamophobic attacks have soared in New York City, on campuses and online since the Israel-Hamas war began.
Sarandon, 77, has long been an outspoken activist for progressive and left-wing causes, sometimes clashing with more moderate liberals in Hollywood, while nurturing a prolific career featuring iconic roles in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Bull Durham” and “Thelma & Louise.” More recently she appeared in the Showtime series “Ray Donovan” and the DC Comics movie “Blue Beetle,” which came out in August.