Actress Chelsea Handler shared a video of Louis Farrakhan discussing racism on her Instagram page on June 14 and called it “powerful.”
The video is a clip of the nation of Islam leader taking questions from the audience during an appearance on “The Phil Donahue Show” on an unspecified date. During the clip, Farrakhan discusses issues of racism and white supremacy.
“I learned a lot from watching this powerful video,” Handler wrote on her Instagram page.
One Instagram user responded in the comments section, “Based on this logic, if you find a video of Hitler saying something positive and powerful, will you feel equally compelled to share it? You gave hate credibility and a large platform today.”
In the comments section, Handler defended posting the video.
“Hitler was responsible for killing millions of lives,” she replied. “Farrakhan is just responsible for his own promotion of anti-Semitic beliefs. They are very different.”
Another commenter praised Handler for posting the video, stating: “Truth is truth, regardless of who it comes from and whether you like them.”
Handler responded, “Agreed. The message should stand alone.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Handler for posting the video.
“@chelseahandler what exactly were you + other Americans supposed to learn from a leader who is a life-long anti-Semite who called Hitler a great man who refers to Jews as insects who spews hatred of LGBTQ people, whose Research Group luridly links Israel to deadly Coronavirus?” the Jewish group tweeted.
Creative Community for Peace co-founder David Renzer similarly said in a statement to the Journal, “While CCFP supports the Black community in their efforts, it is important that we not confuse the message with the messenger. In a time of rising anti-Semitism, unless and until Minister Farrakhan completely disavows himself from his previous anti-Semitic comments, he remains a problematic figure who should cause entertainers to hesitate before looking to him for inspiration.”
Writer Hazel Cills noted on the feminist website Jezebel that actor Sean Hayes and actress Lisa Rinna also praised the video, and that actress Jessica Chastain may have posted it to her Instagram page before deleting it.
“While he has denied being anti-Semitic, Farrakhan has previously called Judaism a ‘gutter religion,’ has referred to Adolf Hitler as a ‘great man,’ and has spoken about ‘powerful’ and ‘Satanic’ Jews as being his enemy, among many other statements condemning Jewish people,” Cills wrote.
She later added: “I know many celebrities right now are desperately trying to prove they have an activist streak, but hopefully they can do a little research before they post things to social media. It must be so hard not having a manager around to help you Google things!”
Read the entire article on Jewish Journal here.