Muslim civil rights group demands apology from Jeff Goldblum
Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group for American Muslims, has called on actor Jeff Goldblum to apologise for anti-Muslim remarks he made on the most recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race last Friday.
Goldblum, who was appearing as a guest judge on the show, made his remarks to Jackie Cox, a Canadian Iranian contestant. Cox said in a voiceover on the episode:
“You can be Middle Eastern, you can be Muslim and you can still be American”
Goldblum, after seeing Cox walk the runway, asked whether she was religious, and followed by saying:
“Is there something in that religion that is anti-homosexuality and anti-woman?”
Goldblum, despite widespread backlash and news coverage in the past few days, has not publicly apologised or responded to media inquiries. Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director, Scott Simpson, said:
We all have biases that sometimes show themselves in offhand remarks like the one Jeff Goldblum made on Friday night. He questioned whether an entire religion was anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ, even as he downplayed it as just ‘thinking out loud and maybe being stupid.’ We recognize the fact that Goldblum tried to dial his comments back in the moment, but we don’t condone his lack of a public apology.
Goldblum made his remarks to Cox after the seven remaining queens on the long running show walked down the runway to a “Star and Stripes” theme. Cox had donned a red-striped caftan with a blue hijab outlined with silver stars, to symbolise the flag of the United States.
These comments are far from harmless. For years, a constellation of anti-Muslim hate groups have pushed these same stereotypes and conspiracy theories to dehumanize American Muslims, to deny them their rights and to split a big tent coalition of people demanding equality for all. The result? American Muslims are facing hate crimes, mosque attacks, discrimination and the Muslim Ban.
To not apologize for these comments is a silent endorsement of anti-Muslim bigotry. We urge Jeff Goldblum to end his silence, to apologize for his comments and to honor the dignity of American Muslims.
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Image credit: Gage Skidmore – Creative Commons