Actress Halle Berry has been forced to issue a public apology after making an apparent anti-Semitic gaffe on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
During the taping for Friday’s show, the Oscar-winning star was showing Leno distorted images of herself on a computer, when she said: “Here’s where I look like my Jewish cousin!” as a picture of her with a large nose appeared.
When the joke received no laughs from the audience, Leno quipped: “I’m glad you said that and not me”. Berry requested the footage be scrapped.
Berry insists she did not intend to cause offence.
She says: “I so didn’t mean to offend anybody – and after the show I realised it could be seen as offensive, so I asked Jay to take it out, and he did. What happened was I was backstage before the show and I have three girls who are Jewish who work for me. We were going through pictures to see which ones looked silly, and one of my Jewish friends said (of the big-nose picture), ‘That could be your Jewish cousin!’ And I guess it was fresh in my mind, and it just came out of my mouth. But I didn’t mean to offend anybody. I didn’t. I didn’t mean any harm.”
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