Halle Berry says sorry for anti-Semitic joke

Society Materials 24 October 2007 12:05
Halle Berry says sorry for anti-Semitic joke

Halle Berry has issued an apology after making an apparent anti-Semitic joke while taping "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday, Oct 19.

Berry was on the show promoting her new movie "Things We Lost in the Fire" when she showed Leno and his audience photos of herself.

However, it was the way she started showing the photos that upset some members of the audience.

"She introduced the first photo by saying, 'Here's where I look like my Jewish cousin!' - it was a picture of her with a huge, distorted nose," the New York Post quoted an insider, as saying.

"No one laughed, and Jay nervously said, 'I'm glad you said that and not me.' When the show aired, they cut out her 'Jewish' comment and added a laugh track to the bit."

Another guest in the audience said: "If you watch the clip, you can see Halle saying the word 'Jewish,' though obviously there is no audio. NBC covered her a - -. Ms. Berry should know how unbelievably inappropriate her comment was . . . She should be ashamed of herself."

Berry has now issued a statement saying she did not mean to offend anyone by her comments.

"I so didn't mean to offend anybody - and after the show I realized it could be seen as offensive, so I asked Jay to take it out, and he did," she said.

"What happened was I was backstage before the show and I have three girls who are Jewish who work for me. We were going through pictures to see which ones looked silly, and one of my Jewish friends said [of the big-nose picture], 'That could be your Jewish cousin!' And I guess it was fresh in my mind, and it just came out of my mouth. But I didn't mean to offend anybody. I didn't. I didn't mean any harm.

"It was just a lighthearted segment that was meant to make fun of myself. There was a picture where I said I looked like Monica Lewinsky and one where I said I looked like Jay. It was just supposed to be a silly segment. I am so sorry, and I apologize."