Actress Amber Tamblyn, star of the movie "Stephanie Daley", poses for pictures in Beverly Hills, California April 19, 2007..
(photo credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)
Actress Amber Tamblyn took to Twitter on Sunday to recount a scary experience she had earlier that day, when a man tried to hit her with his car in Brooklyn. But her later generalizations about the hassidic community left some people angry and insulted.
Tamblyn – the star of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Joan of Arcadia
– told her 95,000 Twitter followers about a troubling moment she had while out with her young daughter.
“If anyone in Brooklyn near the intersection of Washington Ave and Atlantic Ave just saw a hassidic man in a gray van try to hit a woman and her baby in a stroller as she crossed a crosswalk, honking and touching the stroller with the car’s bumper, please DM [direct message] me,” she wrote. “That woman was me.”
Her fans offered messages of support and advice for contacting the police. But Tamblyn’s follow-up tweet left others upset.
“Thank you everyone for your kind words of support today,” she wrote several hours later. “We are fine. But this is not the first time a man from the hassidic community in NYC has attempted to harm me or other women I know. Any woman riding a bike through South Williamsburg can attest. I hope this guy is caught.”
Many people thought it was unfair to make such a generalization and were unhappy that the actress specifically targeted the hassidic community.
Mordechai Lightstone, the social media manager for Chabad.org, called Tamblyn’s tweet “antisemitic BS.”
“It’s awful for any pedestrian, let alone a mother, to be threatened by an aggressive driver,” he wrote. “But bad drivers are bad drivers. I’m sorry, but this is an incredibly troubling generalization.”
In response, Tamblyn said: “This has been my physical experience with several hassidic men in the 10 years I’ve lived in New York. I said nothing that implied I was talking about ALL Hasidim. Have a good night.”
When another user called her antisemitic, Tamblyn replied: “LOL. I’m married to a Jew. Go ahead and twist my words all you want. Your misogyny and sexism reeks from here.”
Tamblyn is married to fellow actor David Cross, with whom she had a daughter, Marlow Alice Cross, just over a year ago.
Other Twitter users suggested there would have been an even greater outcry if Tamblyn mentioned any other minority group in her tweet.
“Imagine if we replaced ‘hassidic community’ here with any other ethnic or religious community,” wrote Yair Rosenberg of the online Tablet Magazine. “Making negative generalizations like this is never OK.”