By now, most of you are probably aware of the infamous Halle Berry “Jewish nose” joke of last week. If not, here’s what happened.
Oscar winner Halle Berry called the New York Post Monday evening to apologize for a comment she’d made the previous Friday at a taping of The Tonight Show. In the segment, an audience member told the newspaper, Berry presented images of herself distorted by a computer, and upon seeing one in which she appeared with a large nose, remarked, “Here’s where I look like my Jewish cousin.”
“No one laughed,” the audience member reported, “and [host] Jay [Leno] nervously said, ‘I’m glad you said that and not me.'”
The word “Jewish” was cut from NBC’s broadcast of Berry’s appearance, though a brief silence can be heard between the surroundings words. After the edited comment, Berry is shown joking, “Oh my God, have I just, like, ruined my whole career?”
According to the New York Post item, Berry “sounded like she was near tears,” in her call to the paper, telling a reporter, “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.”
The first black woman to win the Oscar for best actress, Berry explained that the “Jewish cousin” joke had first been made backstage by one of her three Jewish assistants, who she said had looked at the photo and told the 41-year-old star, “This could be your Jewish cousin!”
“But,” the actress told The New York Post, “I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I didn’t. I didn’t mean any harm … It was just supposed to be a silly segment. I am so sorry, and I apologize.
My reaction? I don’t believe that Berry is an anti-Semite, just an idiot. She’s definitely not in the league of, say, Mel Gibson.
Having said that, I would have expected some more sensitivity from Ms Berry, especially considering she was once insecure with her nose, leading to plastic surgery.