Susan Sarandon has apologized for comments she made during a pro-Palestinian rally last month, during which she said Jewish people fearing the rise in antisemitism are “getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country.”
Sarandon issued a statement on Instagram on Friday, where she wrote that she made a “terrible mistake” in the words she chose while she was trying to convey “solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds.”
The actor faced widespread criticism for her Nov. 17 comments. Days later her agency, United Talent Agency, announced they were no longer representing the Oscar winner.
In her apology, Sarandon said that she misspoke while “intending to communicate my concern for an increase in hate crimes.”
“This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true,” she said.
In the weeks following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League reported a 388% rise in antisemitic incidents compared to the same period in 2022.
Early last month, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that they received 1,283 reports of Islamophobic incidents in the U.S., up 216% compared to reports from the previous year.
“As we all know, from centuries of oppression and genocide in Europe, to the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, PA,” said Sarandon, referring to the antisemitic attack on a synagogue which killed 11 and wounded six others in 2018, “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,” the “Thelma & Louise” actor continued. “It was my intent to show solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so.”
The actor vowed to continued her commitment to “peace, truth, justice, and compassion for all” and concluded by saying, “I hope that we can meet with love and willingness to engage in dialogue, especially with those with whom we disagree.”
Sarandon’s apology comes after the end of a seven-day pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas.
On Sunday, the Director General of the Government Media Office in Gaza told Al Jazeera over 700 Palestinians have died since the truce ended on Friday morning.