The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling a statement Joan Rivers made
on her E! Entertainment Television show Fashion Police, “vulgar and
hideous.” Rivers, commenting on a dress worn by German-American
supermodel Heidi Klum, said, “The last time a German looked this hot was
when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.”
The segment was
first aired February 25, and has since been aired at least four times.
None of the co-hosts responded to Rivers' comment, and no apology was
ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor Abe
Foxman said in a statement that "Joan Rivers should know better." He
said her comments are offensive to "Jews, Holocaust survivors, and
"It is vulgar and offensive for anybody to use the
death of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to
make a joke, but this is especially true for someone who is Jewish and
who proudly and publicly wears her Jewishness on her sleeve," added
In a letter to Suzanne Kolb, President of E!
Entertainment Television, ADL urged the network to have Rivers issue a
formal apology, and to remove the segment from future broadcast.
stated that this was not the first time Rivers has made comments
"trivializing the Holocaust." Last year, when Costco decided against
carrying her book, Rivers compared their company policies to the Nazi
Rather than apologize for Nazi comparison, Rivers responded to critics saying, “Don’t talk to me about the Holocaust!”
Backlash over River's comments closely follows the ADL's outrage over a comedy sketch performed at Sunday's Academy Awards which Foxman called "offensive and not remotely funny."
The sketch featured an "anti-Semitic" foul-mouthed teddy bear named Ted, telling his movie co-star Mark Wahlberg that in order to "work in this town" (Hollywood) he must be Jewish."
Instances like these ones "only reinforce stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism," Fox said.