Was Halle Berry‘s Jew-skewering slip-up on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno merely innocuous, or is making fun of the Jews not the slur it once was? You’ll recall that Berry showed a picture of a swollen-schnoz version of herself and comment that it looked like “my Jewish cousin.” Recognizing her boo-boo, Berry said “Oh no, have I ruined my career?” Leno assured her that she hadn’t. And he seems to be right.
In a world where Don Imus and Isaiah Washington‘s words maligning African-American women and gays land them on front pages, cost them work, or merit rehab stints, Berry’s verbal misstep has blown right over. A week after it happened, no public figures have demanded action, and criticism in general seems scant. The good Reverend Al Sharpton, the go-to guy for Don Imus during his recent “nappy-headed ho” troubles, isn’t even aware of the story. “I wouldn’t want to comment on something I haven’t seen,” he tells Radar.
Of course, Berry’s quick apology (which led to the censoring of the word “Jewish” during the Tonight Show broadcast) could be responsible for the lack of uproar.
“The comments were unfortunate. She’s since apologized. She understood she was offensive,” Myrna Shinbaum, a spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League, tells Radar. When asked if a simple apology was acceptable, Shinbaum said, “Yes.”