The Anti-Defamation League has called on Susan Sarandon to apologize for comments she reportedly made on Saturday in which she called Pope Benedict XVI a “Nazi.” During an interview at the Bay Street Theatre in Long Island, Newsday reports the Oscar-winning actress made her controversial comment while discussing her 1995 film Dead Man Walking, which was based on an anti-death-penalty book by Sister Helen Prejean. Sarandon remembered that she had sent a copy of the book to the pope. “The last one,” she said. “Not this Nazi one we have now.”
The Anti-Defamation League responded on Monday, asking Sarandon to apologize to the Catholic community and to anybody else she may have offended with her remarks. ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman issued the following statement:
We hope that Susan Sarandon will have the good sense to apologize to the Catholic community and all those she may have offended with this disturbing, deeply offensive and completely uncalled for attack on the good name of Pope Benedict XVI.
Ms. Sarandon may have her differences with the Catholic Church, but that is no excuse for throwing around Nazi analogies. Such words are hateful, vindictive and only serve to diminish the true history and meaning of the Holocaust.
It is unclear whether Sarandon was commenting generally about the Pope’s current policies or on his childhood experiences with the Nazi party during World War II. EW was unable to reach Sarandon for comment.