Chelsea Handler is now apologizing after recanting her previous defense for posting a video on Instagram of the highly contested National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The video in question, which has since been removed, was an old clip of Farrakhan on The Phil Donohue Show and was posted by the 45-year-old comedian on June 14th. She added that she “learned a lot” from watching Farrakhan discourse with audience members on whether racism can be solved.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesThe Nation of Islam leader has a long history of anti-Semitic and homophobic comments and many were puzzled why Handler, who is Jewish, would share the viewpoints of Farrakhan. On Monday’s episode of the Daily Beast’s ‘The Last Laugh’ podcast, Handler defended the post, saying “I thought his message was really powerful. I wasn’t thinking about the anti-Semitic thing, but I don’t want to take down the thing because I felt the message was powerful and a lot of people did, and it was powerful for me the way he spelled it out. That black people don’t have a history of killing white people.”
After the podcast aired, however, the comedian later recanted her insensitive actions. “I want to sincerely apologize for posting the video of Louis Farrakhan,” Handler wrote in her apology to the Daily Beast on Tuesday following her podcast appearance. “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.”
The comedian recently went viral on Instagram again for sharing a shot of her posing naked with books to promote her book club.