Russell Brand Apologizes for Calling Jewish Audience Member a Nazi
British comedian Russell Brand apologized for calling an audience member at one of his shows a Nazi after discovering the man was Jewish, Britain’s Jewish News reported on Thursday.
The flub occurred when Russell, 40, teased a young man during a performance at the Proud Archivist venue in East London. The British comic saw the audience member raise his hand and suggested it was so straight it looked like a Nazi salute.
“Yes, the young Nazi in the back row,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
When the audience member shouted back “I’m Jewish!” an embarrassed Brand immediately expressed regret, adding, “It was insensitive and antisemitic.”
Brand has stirred controversy in the past for his Nazi jokes, according to the Daily Mail. While accepting an honor in 2013 at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards, which was sponsored by Hugo Boss, he joked about the German fashion house making uniforms for the Nazis.
“If any of you know a little bit about history and fashion, you’ll know Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazis,” he said after receiving his award. “But they did look f****** fantastic, let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality.”
The comic, who was reportedly thrown out from the show’s after-party following his comments, said the joke was “not intended to herald a campaign to destroy” the fashion company.