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February 28, 2013 10:49 am

ADL: Joan Rivers’ “Ovens” Comment Was “Vulgar and Offensive”

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Joan Rivers in 2010. Photo: Wikipedia

The ADL expressed shock Wednesday at a “vulgar and offensive” remark made by Joan Rivers during a recent episode of her show “Fashion Police,” in which she commented on a dress worn by German-American supermodel Heidi Klum: “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:

“Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better.  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.  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.

There are certain things about the Holocaust that should be taboo.  This is especially true for Jews, for whom the Holocaust is still a deeply painful memory.  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, the ADL urged the network to prevail upon Ms. Rivers to issue a formal apology, and to remove the segment from future broadcast.

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  • Cats01

    Elise Ronan nailed it. When Jews pick and choose among today’s brand of anti-Semitism, we lose. Joan Rivers’ remark was offensive. So was Chuck Hagel’s references to the Jewish Lobby. So was Barack Obama’s suggestion that Israel return to the 1967 borders “with mutually agreed upon swaps”. So were the rantings of Rev. Jeremiah Wright in who’s church Barack Obama sat for 20 years.

  • DW Duke

    Joan Rivers is often over the top. She does not always exercise good judgment in her humor. Not only was this demeaning to Jews but it also was demeaning to modern Germans many of them consider themselves to be Holocaust survivors, or descended from Holocaust survivors.

  • Jerry Hersch

    Vulgar and offensive is her ‘schtick’- the fact that she is brainless doesn’t help..her lips move without a thought.

  • Chaya

    Joan Rivers sounds like the stupid old woman she is. Until she gets a voice lift she should keep her pie hole shut.

  • Wil Goldstein

    It is sad to me that as Jews anything that is said against us even if made by a Jew, we find it necessary to grab that “quote” and run with it. Who cares that it was said about Jews/Catholics/Hindus etc…. The fact is is that it was said and said about a fellow human. Who cares what the religion or color of his/her skin. We also all know Joan Rivers is a camediean and all the words that camedieans say always need to be taken with a grain of salt no matter how “off color” the words might be. If we can all laugh we live longer…..

  • richard sherman

    Dementia is a terrible condition to watch or listen to.

  • This is an issue for the ADL, but not the Hagel fight until the very end and very sheepishy at that.They never ever say anything negative having to do with the Obama administration’s open antisemitism and support for those wanting to destroy Israel. Foxman needs to retire to some place quiet and leave the rest of us alone.Remember ADl attacked the Tea Party one of Israel
    s biggest defenders, and refuses to condemn CAIR, a Mosem brotherhood offshoot or The Arab-AntiDiscrimination Committee, a virulent antisemitic organization run by Zogby. ADL is an embarrassment.