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Julianna Margulies Apologizes For Calling Black, Queer Supporters Of Palestinians Antisemitic

Julianna Margulies has apologized for inflammatory remarks she made about the Black and LGBTQ+ communities.

The “Good Wife” star’s comments, made on a Nov. 20 episode of actor/producer Andy Ostroy’s “Back Room” podcast, went viral Friday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The main drivers of the backlash were two very provocative comments: her stated belief that the “entire Black community” may have been “brainwashed to hate Jews” and her warning about what would happen to a queer person who “stepped foot in an Islamic country.”

In a statement to Deadline on Friday, Margulies 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: 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.”

Julianna Margulies, shown here at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2022, drew backlash for remarks critical of Black and queer communities for perceived antisemitism.
Julianna Margulies, shown here at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2022, drew backlash for remarks critical of Black and queer communities for perceived antisemitism.

Julianna Margulies, shown here at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2022, drew backlash for remarks critical of Black and queer communities for perceived antisemitism.

Margulies was called a bigot by many on social media over her remarks.

During the podcast, Margulies identified herself as a Jew and spoke of the recent spike in antisemitism since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. (There’s also been a significant uptick in Islamophobia.) 

Eight minutes in, her remarks took an alarming turn when she expressed her belief that Jews don’t receive enough support from other marginalized groups. 

“I’m the first person to march [for] Black Lives Matter. When that happened to George Floyd, I put a black screen on my Instagram, like I ran to support my Black brothers and sisters,” Margulies said.

She added: “When LGBTQ people are being attacked, I run. I made a commercial for same-sex marriages with my husband in 2012. Like, 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.” 

After implying that Black and queer people owe Jews their support, she lashed out at young people who have pro-Palestinian sentiments, calling them “crazy people” who are “getting their news from TikTok.” 

“Before one bomb was dropped on Oct. 7, before one bomb was dropped in retaliation for a brutal, barbaric attack, people were already on their bullhorns saying the Jews deserved it,” Margulies said. 

Ostroy said he thinks some “people hate Jews” because “throughout history” they have been “industrious, successful, resourceful, accomplished,” and that “threatens a lot of people.”

Ostroy added, “You know, if we use the wrong pronouns on college campuses, there’d be an uproar.”

“Oh, my God, forget it,” Margulies responded. “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, which I have respectfully really made a point of doing ― it’s those people that will be the first people beheaded, and their heads played with ... like a soccer ball on the field.”

Margulies then talked about a film screening by a “Black lesbian club on the Columbia campus” promoted with flyers that she said read “No Jews allowed.” She appears to be referring to an October incident when a screening at “a club for queer women and nonbinary people run by students of color” was promoted with a note on its flyer that said, “It’s FREE PALESTINE over here. Zionists aren’t invited,” according to the Columbia Spectator student newspaper.  

“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,” Margulies said.

Later in the interview, she mentioned Ken Burns’ documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust” and said it should be “mandatory watching, especially for the Black community, if I may.”

“The Nazis were watching how the Jim Crow South was 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, “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.” 

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