During a recent appearance on the Back Room with Andy Ostroy podcast, actress Julianna Margulies made a series of provocative statements about Black and queer people who’ve spoken out about Israel and Palestine that are just now reaching a fever pitch of attention across social media.
In the episode, Ostroy began by asking Margulies about the Holocaust Education Program she’d started in 2021 to teach children about antisemitism.
“I’m seeing it clearly now that education is the most important part of a child’s life,” Margulies said. “It plants the seeds, it stops the ridiculousness of—look, I’m not even a religious Jew. I wasn’t even Bat Mitzvah’d. If anything like this had happened in the Black community—for example, 900 protestors left stranded on the tarmac in D.C. on their way to the rally because all the bus drivers walked out. If that had happened to any other marginalized community, this country would be in an uproar. But because it happened to the Jews, for some reason, it’s laughable.”
Margulies seemed to be referencing an incident that took place in mid-November, when hundreds of members of Detroit’s Jewish community who flew to Washington, D.C. to march in solidarity with Israel said they were stymied by a “malicious” bus driver walk-off that prevented or delayed many travelers from participating.
“I am the first person to jump up when something is wrong, as I think most Jews are, because we have been persecuted from the beginning of time, not just in World War II, but literally from the beginning of time when we first lived in Israel, way before anybody else,” Margulies said. “Before one bomb was dropped on October 7, before one bomb was dropped in retaliation for a brutal, barbaric attack, people were already on their bullhorns saying the Jews deserved it. What? Where’s your humanity? They put babies in ovens and killed them.”
“The reason is, people hate Jews,” Ostroy said. The host then briefly expounded upon the pervasiveness of antisemitism before concluding, “You know, if we use the wrong pronouns on college campuses, there’d be an uproar.”
“Oh my god, forget it,” Margulies answered. “It’s those kids who are spewing this antisemitic hate that have no idea if they stepped foot in an Islamic country—these people who want us to call them they/them, or whatever they want us to call them... it’s those people that will be the first people beheaded and their heads played with like a soccer ball, like a soccer ball on the field. And that’s who they’re supporting: terrorists who don’t want women to have their rights.”
Margulies, who stars as a news anchor on Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, was also asked by Ostroy to talk about a recent appearance she made at the Variety Hollywood and Antisemitism Summit. At the event, Margulies talked about regretting her decision to wear a cross as her Morning Show character, Laura Peterson.
“On TV, characters are not ever wearing the Star of David,” Margulies said on the Variety panel. “I regret that. I am sorry about that. I am going to be a lot more careful in the future… It’s so easy to put on a cross. Why isn’t it just as easy to put on a Star of David?’”
“The last thing I thought in my life was that I’d be the one actress speaking out for Jews,” Margulies added on the Variety panel.
Back on Ostroy’s podcast, Margulies asked the host if he had ever seen the Ken Burns documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust.
“It should be mandatory watching, especially for the Black community, if I may, because Hitler got his entire playbook from the Jim Crow South,” Margulies said.
“The Nazis were watching how the Jim Crow South were treating slaves and said, ‘Oh, great call, let’s do that playbook. That’s what we’ll do to the Jews.’ Which is also why, in the Civil Rights movement, the Jews were the ones that walked side by side with the Blacks to fight for their rights, because they know. And now the Black community isn’t embracing us and saying, ‘We stand with you the way you stood with us’?”
“Jews died for their cause. Where’s the history lesson in that? Who’s teaching these kids?” Margulies went on. “Because the fact that the entire Black community isn’t standing with us to me says either they just don’t know, or they’ve been brainwashed to hate Jews. But when you’ve been marginalized so much as a community, the way I feel we have, isn’t that when you step up?”
“There was this film being shown by this Black lesbian club on the Columbia campus, and they put signs up that said no Jews allowed,” Margulies added, “and as someone who plays a lesbian journalist on The Morning Show, I am more offended by it as a lesbian than I am as a Jew, to be honest with you. Because I wanna say to them, ‘You fucking idiots. You don’t exist. Like, you’re even lower than the Jews. A, you’re Black, and B, you’re gay, and you’re turning your back against the people who support you?’ Because Jews, they rally around everybody.”