Julianna Margulies has caused a firestorm of controversy after she blasted Black and LGBTQ communities for what she perceives as insufficient support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas. Speaking on The Back Room with Andy Ostroy podcast via The Daily Beast, the award-winning actress also suggested that those supporting Palestine may be “brainwashed.”
Conversation Takes A Turn
The actress began her controversial rant after Ostroy asked about the Holocaust Education Program Julianna Margulies started in 2021.
The conversation then took a dark turn. “If anything like this had happened in the Black community – for example, 900 protestors left stranded on the tarmac in D.C. on their way to the rally because all the bus drivers walked out…”
“If that had happened to any other marginalized community, this country would be in an uproar. But because it happened to the Jews, for some reason, it’s laughable,” Julianna Margulies said.
She was referencing an incident where members of Detroit’s Jewish community were allegedly hampered by a bus driver walk-off that prevented them from marching in solidarity with Israel after they flew to Washington, D.C.
Blaming Trump And Others
Julianna Margulies then linked the rise of antisemitism in the United States to Donald Trump legitimizing neo-Nazi protestors in Charlottesville in 2017.
She highlighted her history of support for marginalized communities, emphasizing her participation in movements like Black Lives Matter and advocacy for LGBTQ rights.
“I am the first person to jump up when something is wrong, as I think most Jews are because we have been persecuted from the beginning of time, not just in World War II, but literally from the beginning of time when we first lived in Israel, way before anybody else,” Julianna Margulies said.
“Before one bomb was dropped on October 7, people were already on their bullhorns saying the Jews deserved it.”
The actress attributed the current anti-Israel sentiment among young people to platforms like TikTok, suggesting that the video blogging site should be banned.
Julianna Margulies issued a stern warning to progressive youth, cautioning them about the beliefs of Hamas and Islamic fundamentalists, insinuating potential consequences for those advocating for LGBTQ rights.
“It’s those 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, like a soccer ball on the field,” Julianna Margulies continued.
Julianna Margulies also referenced an incident at Columbia University, where a Black lesbian club allegedly displayed signs that read “no Jews allowed.”
She expressed frustration, asserting that individuals in the Black community should be supportive of Israel, given historical alliances during the Civil Rights Movement.
“Jews died for their cause. Where’s the history lesson in that? Who’s teaching these kids?” Julianna Margulies added. “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?”
Taking Down Hollywood
Julianna Margulies then criticized Hollywood for what she perceived as a lack of vocal support for Israel, comparing it to the industry’s swift response to other social issues like the George Floyd protests.
She expressed disbelief at the entertainment industry’s silence over the Hamas attacks and lamented the lack of support from the MeToo movement.
Initially posted on November 21, the podcast gained only recently gained traction after clips were shared on social media. Critics accused Juliana Margulies of racism and questioned her tone in discussing the Black and LGBTQ communities.
The actress faced backlash for suggesting that solidarity should be unconditional.
Not An Isolated Incident?
On X, Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah pointed out that Julianna Margulies’ racially insensitive remarks against the Black community are not isolated incidents but rather exist within purportedly liberal circles.
Attiah explained that solidarity with Black individuals is often treated as a transaction, expecting gratitude as if recipients of charity.
Joel Kim Booster, a stand-up comedian and the writer-star of the Emmy-nominated Fire Island took to social media to highlight Julianna Margulies’ apparent eagerness to use a slur in the recent podcast.
NPR critic Eric Deggans said that those who benefit from oppressing marginalized groups prefer to see internal divisions rather than a united front against oppression.
Deggans described Julianna Margulies’ alleged comments as counterproductive and disheartening. Several media outlets have sought comments from the actress’ representatives to address the backlash and seek clarification on her statements regarding support for Palestine.