Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

ADL Asks Joan Rivers to Apologize for Holocaust Joke

The Anti-Defamation League called on “Fashion Police” host Joan Rivers to apologize for a Holocaust reference she made on the show.

Image by Getty Images

Rivers on the E! Entertainment Television program of February 25, 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 show has been shown at least four times on the E! network since it first aired. Rivers, who laughed at her own remark, has not spoken of it since.

The ADL in a statement Wednesday called on Rivers, who is Jewish, to apologize for what it called a “vulgar and offensive” remark.

“This remark is so vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors, and indeed to all Americans, that we cannot believe it made it to the airwaves,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director and a Holocaust survivor, in the statement. “Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence. Almost as bad as her original comment is the fact that she sat there doubled over with laughter after saying it.

“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.”

In a letter to Suzanne Kolb, president of E! Entertainment Television, ADL called on the network to remove the segment from future broadcast and to call on Rivers to issue an apology.

Last year, when protesting Costco’s decision not to sell her book, Rivers compared the company’s policies in selecting books to those of the Nazi regime.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    NY-12 Candidate Forum

    THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER and Virtual

    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.