Chelsea Handler is expressing remorse for sharing a video of celebrated Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan despite an initially vociferous defense.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Nation of Islam as a hate group, writing that the group's "theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate."
What's a brief history?
Last week, Handler shared a video of Farrakhan discussing racism and white fear, captioning it, "I learned a lot from watching this powerful video."
According to various reports, a variety of celebrities endorsed the video, and some shared it themselves.
What's she saying now?
In a new interview with Handler, which recently aired on the Daily Beast's "The Last Laugh" podcast, Handler defended her decision to share a video of Farrakhan, apparently endorsing his sentiments.
"I don't want to take down the [post] because I felt the message was powerful," she insisted. "[Critics] can go f*** themselves."
During the interview, she added, "I thought his message was really powerful. I wasn't thinking about the anti-Semitic thing, but I don't want to take the [post] down because I felt the message was powerful and a lot of people did. It was powerful for me the way he spelled it out."
"That black people don't have a history of killing white people," she continued. "White people have a history of killing black people, for hundreds of years. Over and over again, we kill black people in this country. So everyone needs to remember where the violence came from."
The comedienne added, "It's not from the black people, it's from the white people. I thought it was powerful. So, whatever, you know. Everybody can go f*** themselves."
However, a very short time after the podcast went live, Handler got a major case of cold feet: She scrubbed the video from her social media platforms and retracted her initial defense in a lengthy apology shared with the Daily Beast.
In an email to the outlet's podcast team, Handler wrote, "I want to sincerely apologize for posting the video of Louis Farrakhan. I didn't consider the context of his Anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric, that is of course contrary to my own beliefs and values."
"Part of the process of educating ourselves during this pivotal time is recognizing and working through our mistakes," she said. "This was definitely one of mine. I was wrong. It was offensive, and I apologize."
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