Hollywood Celebs Are Praising an Anti-Semitic Hatemonger
Celebs ranging from Chelsea Handler and Jessica Chastain to Jennifer Aniston and Ice Cube have been fawning over Louis Farrakhan—a homophobic anti-Semite with ties to Scientology.
I regret to inform you the celebs are at it again.
On Sunday, in lieu of posting Instagram-friendly protest content, discussing White Fragility in a Zoom book club, or recording a mortifyingly tone-deaf PSA renouncing racism, the comedian Chelsea Handler shared a video clip to her 3.9 million Instagram followers. The clip featured Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, during a 1990 appearance on The Phil Donahue Show.
In the clip, Farrakhan attempts to educate the rowdy, majority-white daytime TV audience on the subject of white supremacy.
“I really don’t think you fully understand what has happened to these people you look at as second-class or inferior citizens in this nation,” Farrakhan explains. “Black people who were brought to this country were stripped of their names, language, culture, religion, God, and taken totally away from the history of themselves. Here are 30 million people who don’t wear their own names—they wear your names.”
Handler’s post was accompanied by the caption “I learned a lot from watching this powerful video” and has been viewed more than 1.8 million times. It was shared by the Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain to her 3.2 million Instagram followers via her Instagram story, as well as the actress/influencer Jameela Jamil to her 3 million followers. Handler’s clip also garnered likes from fellow celebs Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jennifer Garner, and received laudatory comments from the actor Sean Hayes and actress Lisa Rinna.
After receiving backlash in the comments Handler posted a disclaimer of sorts, “Another thing: perhaps Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic views took form during his own oppression. We know now that oppression of one race leads to an oppression of all races.” Huh? (Chastain and Jamil have since deleted the videos; Handler has not.)
Farrakhan is, for the record, a raging anti-Semite. The Southern Poverty Law Center has branded Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam as a hate group for “its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric.” In a 1984 speech broadcast over Chicago radio, he called Hitler “a very great man”; during a 1985 speech at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, he proclaimed of Jews, “And don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!”; in a 2006 speech, he exclaimed, “These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world, and bringing you down in moral strength… It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It’s the wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!” In 2018, at a speech at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, he accused Jews of inventing anal sex and promoting pedophilia. And just last year, after being banned by Facebook for hate speech, he claimed he didn’t hate Jews—then in the very next breath called them “Satanic.”
On top of his rabid anti-Semitism, Farrakhan, 87, has banned women from his speeches; said they should eschew short skirts and abortion, and opt to be homemakers who dote on their husbands; and, during the aforementioned 2018 speech at Mosque Maryam, floated a bizarre conspiracy involving Barack Obama, the Jews, the World Bank, and the gay community. “Brother Barack [Obama], under Jewish influence, trying to introduce same-sex marriage to African people, and the Africans say, ‘We don’t have nothing like that in our history. We can’t identify with that.’ Then the Western man says, ‘If you want this money from the World Bank or the IMF, you have to make a law that allows same-sex marriage.’ Look, brothers and sisters, this is satanic,” he said.
Farrakhan has also repeatedly praised Donald Trump, saying in a 2016 speech that he was “the only member who has stood in front of the Jewish community and said, ‘I don’t want your money.’” When Farrakhan praised Trump again in 2018, right-wing trolls Candace Owens and Glenn Beck celebrated Farrakhan’s endorsement of their Dear Leader.
Oh, and let’s not forget Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam’s strange ties to the Church of Scientology. As I reported in 2018, “The alliance between the Nation of Islam, a black organization, and Scientology, an almost entirely white one, was hatched in the mid-Aughts, when the late Isaac Hayes, one of the only famous black Scientologists, approached Scientology leader David Miscavige and asked why the “religion” wasn’t doing more to court black Americans. So Miscavige reached out to the Nation of Islam, and by 2010, they began promoting the “benefits” of Dianetics, the core set of ideas preached by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. During a sermon in Chicago on July 1, 2012, Farrakhan proclaimed to his acolytes, ‘I found the tool that I know can help us. And I thank God for Mr. L. Ron Hubbard. And I thank God for his research and teaching.’”
Of course, all this hasn’t stopped Hollywood celebrities from flocking to Farrakhan, or spreading his teachings. He stood onstage alongside Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Bill Clinton at Aretha Franklin’s funeral in 2018, and spoke at Nipsey Hussle’s star-studded Staples Center funeral in 2019. On June 10, the rapper/actor Ice Cube, who has been spreading quite a few anti-Semitic conspiracies of late, posted a heroic-looking photo of Farrakhan to Twitter with the accompanying message “The Honorable Louis Farrakhan continues to warn America to this very second and he’s labeled one of your “evil names,” and you turn your ears off. Why is the truth so offensive that you can’t stand to hear it?”
This, my friends, is why celebrities need publicists.