Jan 29, 2009
Essman Apologizes for Remarks

Susie Essman has called Chabad.org to address the outpouring of anger that followed her statements ridiculing Chabad women on the TV show 'The View,' COLlive has learned. In a telephone conversation with Chabad reps, Essman was quoted as saying, "Sometimes, I can be a little off color, and I apologize." But Sara Esther Crispe, editor of the site TheJewishWoman.org says her apology "is not enough."

By COLlive reporter

Comedian and actress Susie Essman, who recently stirred up controversy by bashing Chabad women on the TV show 'The View,' called Chabad.org to apologize for her remarks, COLlive has learned.

In the interview, Essman and the View co-hosts call Lubavitcher and Chassidic women ugly, saying they have bad taste in clothing, have "weird," "bizarre" customs, and claim, "The way they dress, that's related to Islam, right?"

The interview, which was posted on blogs (on debbieschlussel.com and others) websites within days of airing, caused a flurry of angry responses and general outrage from Jewish women everywhere.

The Chabad.org team contacted the producers of the show after it aired, suggesting that the show host a Lubavitch woman who could answer the questions that were brought up during the interview.

Although the show's producers have not yet responded to their request, a Chabad.org representative did receive a phone call from Essman. She apologized for her remarks, saying "Sometimes, I can be a little off color, and I apologize if I offended anyone."

But Essman's apology by phone is seen by some as too little, too late. Many in the Chabad community are of the opinion that a public apology is in order.

"Her private apology does not help at all in terms of the public ridicule that took place," said Sara Esther Crispe, editor of the site TheJewishWoman.org, "The show is partially responsible as well. Susie's comments were offensive to all women, not just Lubavitch. Sadly, even on a show which talks about empowering women, they reduce them to being only about their looks."

Crispe adds, "There's no excuse - her remarks were ignorant, degrading and inappropriate. And what was most offensive was that no one - not the hosts or the audience - were bothered by them."



Most Read Most Comments
Opinions and Comments
1
I expect a public apology
Since she said her offensive and off color remarks in public, her apology should be in at least as public a forum.

Shame on her.
(1/28/2009 7:22:26 PM)
2
anon
i agree with mrs. crispe. a public apology is surely in order and it could be extremely enlightening for the world to see what a lubavitch woman might have to say in response to certain cultural question, so i do hope the producers agree to it.
(1/28/2009 7:25:03 PM)
3
lubav woman
I'd like to see her get back on the show and publicly apologize, and get some clarity..possibly by having a Lubavitcher woman representative, who will be present on the show as well!
(1/28/2009 7:51:47 PM)
4
right on!
right on Sara Esther!!! arrange some of our women to go on the show!!!!
(1/29/2009 1:07:36 AM)
5
Ignorant
The're simply ignorant. Ignore. Dont get so worked up.
(1/29/2009 1:22:46 AM)
6
yes and no
public apology yes . Lubavitcher's explaining themselves apologetically - no
(1/29/2009 2:05:40 AM)
7
oy!
we are making a chilel hashem1
(1/29/2009 2:20:15 AM)
8
Apology not accepted.............
Fact is that the offensive remarks were made by Jewish women and infront of viewers and an audience that if you listened laughed along with their negative remarks at a sterotype they hardly understand.
Jewish religious women intimidate non religious women - because they want to be liberated of religion and feeling tied down. When they see an educated , with it , and professional Jewish woman ,who has a family as well and a committed relationship , and give to time to their communties doing charitable works- it scares them.
I have relatives like this.
They think it s" So, beautiful all those customs and everything, I
t takes great strength and a will and a serious commitment to go the whole way . It is difficult and a challenge and most of the time a real test.
But, as I remind myself " What is always easier isn't always better".
Being religious, is an on going thing and in this day and age, we can be the best that we can be, and be religious too. And be proud of walking down a street in a tznious and classy way.
(1/29/2009 2:56:01 AM)
9
THIS IS NOT RIGHT... THE TORAH SAYS THAT IF ONE EMBARRASSES ANOTHER IN PUBLIC THEN THEY MUST APOLOGIZE IN PUBLIC...
(1/29/2009 4:00:31 AM)
10
To #7
Please explain how we are making a Chillel Hashem??
(1/29/2009 4:02:21 AM)
11
To number 5:
No, they are not ignorant... They are apathetic losers. They are shallow people that don't fell like they have much or any purpose in this world...
(1/29/2009 4:10:46 AM)
12
This is a chance to let the people know...
This is not only an insult to Chabad and Frum women, but rather to Torah and Judaism as a whole, She made negative comments against Halacha. We have to take it seriously and stop Chilul Hashem. This is against all the work Shulcim do and dampens their outreach efforts. Plus this is a chance to let the world know the value of modesty and Tznius, which is lacking very much in our generation. I suggesst a group of frum, professinal and outspoken women get to thgether and request some time on the show and present the truth, besides apology from the host and guests. If we let this go, in a way we agree and encourage this sort of conducts. The Rebbe always demanded "MACHAA" protest. Muslims and Black would not tolerate this, why should we? Is Torah less than ....
(1/29/2009 4:20:08 AM)
13
FORGET IT!
Let it go... Whats the point of fighting against these people that don't care about anything...
(1/29/2009 4:30:13 AM)
14
to number 11 shame on you
ist hat the same with thousands that are touched by Chabad Lubavitch every year, and become balei Teshuvah, how about the thousands that walked by the Rebbe for Dollars,
time to go out there and rekindle YOUR spark
s for a fellow Jew.
(1/29/2009 4:42:42 AM)
15
To number 14
They are apathetic whether you like it or not.

They do need the Rebbes help...

As for me I am not condescending like them I only state the truth...
(1/29/2009 4:50:33 AM)
16
An Idea
WHH
Ladies, your representatives will not make anything better by a public airing on national television, perhaps adding fuel to the fire. Orthodox Jews are an easy target for the secularists and nations alike, and quite frankly, any attempts at public explanation fall woefully short of every good intention. A modest and proper way to address this great wrong is to extend the poor woman a Shabbos and Yom Tov invitation, (Pesach, it should be Pesach) and let Hashem open her heart to Torah true Judaism. give her the opportunity to experience the beauty of her people without trying to address your tainas.
(1/29/2009 5:06:47 AM)
18
To number 15
She wasn't condescending, showing or implying a usually patronizing descent from dignity or superiority.

She is just ignorant.
(1/29/2009 5:12:10 AM)
19
Chillul Hashem
WHH
In response to number 8, using the word "classy" is definitely not...
(1/29/2009 5:17:16 AM)
20
completely misrepresented
I think this goes a little more than what she just said on the show. It seems that the whole movie is making fun and putting down frum, chassidic values with the same ignorance as the comments said on the views show. Anyone who watches the movie will seemingly be left with similar impressions.
I don't know if or what should be done about it...
(1/29/2009 5:19:47 AM)
21
To #20
What??? I don't get what you wrote?!?!?!
(1/29/2009 5:32:04 AM)
22
She did not say ugly
(1/29/2009 5:54:56 AM)
23
She did not say ugly
Not to nitpick but if you watch the clip you will hear her ask
do you see what those women look like ? now that is still
bad but just to be accurate she did not say ugly, and she is not the one who asked if our dressing is similar to Islam dressing, that was the old hag in chief walters.
(1/29/2009 6:04:55 AM)
24
IRONIC
Ironic

The only word I can find for this whole story is IRONIC

Some women in Lubavitch want to dress “modern’ to be with it etc..
Ha Ha – and now look they are still called wired, ugly and other disgusting remarks.
The lesson is soo clear – stop trying to “fit In” and to be with it, because at the end of the day – eisov sonai lyaakov and in the worlds eyes you still will be looked on as ugly crazies.
(1/29/2009 6:08:36 AM)
25
To #24
The one whom said the "disgusting remarks" on The View is a Jew herself.

So the irony is your comment...
(1/29/2009 7:20:39 AM)
26
go sara ester!
(1/29/2009 7:52:52 AM)
27
Beis Shmuel Woman
Along with her apology on The View we should showcase some of our shuls beautiful women since everybody got so excited from the pics last time.
(1/29/2009 8:07:53 AM)
28
Public apology, and time spend serving meals at a homeless shelter run by Chabad
When Don Imus made fun of African-American female athletes, he was FIRED. When Michael Richards got into a cussing match with homeboys who heckled his comedy show, he had to apologize on the late night show and also go to anger management!

Susie Essman is ignorant, thoughtless, not too bright and even more unattractive and poorly dressed than the women she made fun of.

Sorry but a private phone call is not sufficient, she needs to go back on the show and apologize to the same audience who listened to her the first time.
(1/29/2009 8:16:11 AM)
29
to #25
when i wrote that some want to fit in I am also saying fit in to look like the secular jews
(1/29/2009 8:34:33 AM)
30
hello
I totally agree we must remember that we are daughters of the king and we must always dress with class!
(1/29/2009 9:01:30 AM)
31
Shkoayach!
to #27: thanks for bringing that to publics attention!!! its good to know that i wasnt the only one that realized that the catwalk was second to the top on the ''most visited'' list!!!

to #28: shkoyach!
(1/29/2009 9:13:37 AM)
32
A whole SHOW on CHABAD!
Let them do some SERIOUS tshuva by dedicating a whole SHOW!!! And show their audience what women who are beautiful inside and out are like!! And all the credit goes to HaShem!!
(1/29/2009 9:44:21 AM)
33
Beis Shmuel Woman
To "Shkoayach!"
Your Welcome. You can always count on us to be in the public's attention!
(1/29/2009 9:54:30 AM)
34
To #29
"eisov sonai lyaakov and in the worlds eyes you still will be looked on as ugly crazies"

That is what you wrote in comment #24

Eisov is not Jewish and Susie Essman is a Jew.

So you quoted a bad quot.

I rest my case.
(1/29/2009 10:18:14 AM)
35
HOWEVER YOU LOOK AT IT I CAN TELL YOU THAT EISOV SUCKS!!
(1/29/2009 11:04:38 AM)
36
This is what I wrote to the view:
Here my two cents about the ungracious remarks about Hasidic women, during the interview with the actress from “Loving Leah”.
It is ironic that only days after America has risen above its history of prejudice to inaugurate its first African-American president, the panelists on The View remain mired in shameful ignorance and ugly prejudice, so long as the target is acceptable: Hasidic Jews. So much for celebrating diversity. Hard to say which is worse: the ignorance about Hasidic women, or the prejudice which gives license to its expression.
In any case, ignorance is no excuse; especially for journalists and media professionals.
Your panelists have a responsibility to get their information straight before they cast aspersion on an entire group of people.
Hassidism bares no similarity to Islam, it is based on Torah – which precedes all religions. And, while we Hassidim dress modestly, (though nicely) it is not: “cover up, cover up” out of “ fear of turning a man on” but rather, out of our personal dignity and self-respect, and out of reverence for our bodies, which we consider holy. To boot, the entire premise of the movie, “Loving Leah” is incorrect, flawed and incompatible with the application and practice of Jewish law today.
Finally, like Joy Behar sanely stated: Just like with any group of women, some of us are pretty, some of us are not. Guess what: some of us are downright beautiful. In fact, not only are many Hasidic women - including myself- much better looking than the panelists and actress you had on that segment, it seems we are also a lot better informed and educated, more tolerant and less crass.
Hassidic and proud of it.
(1/29/2009 11:10:47 AM)
37
to #34
Tipish.... he waas talking about the concept of eisov son'e es yaakov.
He is completlyt right.
Some women want to dress etc.. to fit in - we want to be and act and dress and talk liek the secular world.
It aint gana work - you see how ever hard you try you will still be labled as crazy, wierd ugly R"L
(1/29/2009 11:16:50 AM)
38
Lubavitch Woman
Listen we know that we are beautiful and know how to dress. We know the beauty of covering our hair. We don't have to get so worked up about what some lady says on TV.
(1/29/2009 11:35:29 AM)
39
Number 36 You Rock!!
WOW great comment! Well done #36!
(1/29/2009 12:12:30 PM)
40
mina
Yessssssss Sara Esther.!! Hashgocha Protis that this happened now they will have to have a Chabad woman's rep on the show . that will be their tshuva, major public apology!!!
(1/29/2009 12:43:19 PM)
41
TO #37 PLEASE HAVE SOME SELF RESPECT
And also please learn how to write, I don't think anyone can make scene out of the first sentence you wrote...

What did you say??

Thanks!!
(1/29/2009 1:00:28 PM)
42
Opportunity for Torah Judaism
Sara Esther Crispe is absolutely right - the ridiculing of Lubavitch women and, much more importantly, the gross misrepresentation of Torah Judaism itself and Chassidism in particular were in a very public forum, and thus the apology should be done in as public a way as possible as well.

However, this is not enough - more damage was done by Ms. Essman's comments and implications than we can imagine. This show is seen across America. What is truly needed is for a Lubavitch woman to be given the opportunity to come on the show in person and talk about some of the issues raised on this episode. NOT to apologize for frum women, but rather simply to CLARIFY and EDUCATE.

And someone like Rivkah Slonim - a true modern feminist and amazing public speaker - would be just the person for the job. Someone who could explain in a clear and meaningful way the true, deeper reasons of why we cover our hair; or the real reasons and benefits of dressing in a modest way; or perhaps the true role and infinite value of the Jewish woman.

This is an opportunity for America to learn the truth about yiddishkeit and the amazing beauty of our Torah! If The View would give us the chance....
(1/29/2009 2:41:09 PM)
43
To # 38
I'm afraid you don't understand the seriousness of what has happened on this show. This is a nationally syndicated program which is seen by thousands of people across America, and now probably even more in other countries as well because of the internet.

But more importantly - so many of these thousands of people BELIEVE what they see & hear on TV. And that is the problem - orthodox Judaism was ridiculed and misrepresented, and people believe that these women discussing "lubavitch" are speaking the Truth. That is a chilul Hashem, and must be addressed and hopefully rectified. B'ezrat Hashem.
(1/29/2009 2:48:29 PM)
44
ppl, a kidush hashem
we want to show them that we DO dress nicely. but remember that shes alsoa jew, and for her to see it herself we have to show it to her!!!!! dress tznius and respectfully as beffiting a bas chabad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and we do need a public apology, but let her see for herslef how wrong she was. she shouldnt just say it to apologize, and show how nice she is, but she should believe what she says. and susie- if youa re watching this, open your eyes to see the true modest tznius way we dress.
(1/29/2009 3:30:56 PM)
45
WE R PROUD TO BE CHABAD, NO MATTER WHAT OTHER PPL SAY!
(1/29/2009 3:34:08 PM)
46
the saddest part
isn't essman Jewish herself? So perhaps a little helping hand could be the remedy. Rise above, and invite her into a BALANCED home for a Shabbos so that she can see what it really is all about. Or even just get a cup of coffee there are amazing women in Lubavitch for this. Why drive her further into the mindset she is holding at the moment?
(1/29/2009 3:54:54 PM)
47
to all comments
I am afraid all of us are missing the big picture.
How come not one off the comments have commented that the biggest chilul hashem here is that the show that they were prmoting was making fun of our holy Torah.
It was making fun of yibun and chalitza
This my friends is the gretest outcry
(1/29/2009 6:39:00 PM)
48
Chilul Hashem
On the one hand since on one hand we try to explain why we dress tzinuyus (since we're not into (as the main thing) outer beauty), on the other hand we give a toss what these idiots say about us. and we're all fustrated someone said were not so pretty!!???
happy yud shvat
(1/30/2009 3:17:39 AM)
49
Do you believe in G-d?
Do you believe in G-d? That's not enough. You have to believe in Jews too. I know it isn't always easy, even for those of us who, philosophically, identify with this concept.
Never write off a single Jew. Never be cynical of the cynics. Every Jew is a ray of light. All we need do is make the environment a little more conducive, and the inherent light will shine forth.
(1/30/2009 4:47:10 AM)
50
Ignorance is obviously NOT bliss
Are we finally convinced that ignorance is NOT bliss? The whole video clip is filled with ignorance and stupidity. Firstly, the overall premise of the movie is ridiculous. There is a simple way around the Yibum (Leverite?) law. Not some modern loop hole, but a work around that is clearly stated in scripture. In fact it’s been practically dormant for centuries.
As to the “they’re not very good dressers” comment, that just shows how shallow this imbecile is. Is THAT all she learned from being around a new culture? Come on! Frankly, I think she’s just as dead wrong about that comment as is the other bimbo’s comment comparing Hasidic women’s dress to Muslims. Lubavitch women dress just fine, thank you very much. I don’t know who consulted them, but it smells like they’re getting the same intelligence that told us Iraq had WMDs.
(1/30/2009 5:00:22 AM)
51
a Jewish male
She is a comedian and we should not take her seriously, besides that Chabad women are very stylish, attricative
(1/30/2009 6:59:22 AM)
52
To #51
She is no comedian... She is not funny in any way at all...
(1/30/2009 8:13:28 AM)
53
To the view
To the view

(Topic Jewish woman don’t dress nice)

Why don’t we open a new topic called Jewish woman dress beautiful how they do it with out showing so much skin?

Fact: Jewish woman have a hard time finding clothing sometimes because they have to wear non revealing clothing in the summer time, Tell me which store sell that?

Take a walk down 13th ave. in BoroPark and you might want to swap that little skimpy thing you call a dress for something classy, graceful, pretty, and last more good looking then what you have on.
A Lubavitch husband, who believes in giving everyone a chance to fix their mistakes.
(1/31/2009 1:34:50 PM)
54
Our Rebbe
When the newspaper would bash Chabad, the Rebbe would often comment that media cannot be fought with condemnations, the only way is by pretending it never happened. You can see this often during Dollars.
(1/31/2009 1:46:57 PM)
55
baron
if u force her to publicly apologize it will prove that jews run everything and she was right after all if a chabad shlucha goes on AND IS FUNNY then that would be the best I DO AGREE WITH NUMBER 6 apologetic on the show doesnt make ishapcha it just perpetuates that there was fallback and will dissappear shlomo paltiel was sooo good after mumbai!
(1/31/2009 2:06:13 PM)
56
moshiachNOW
you are all doing exactly the opposite of what we stand for. We have to look for a way to better the world and how can we accomplish that by talking negative lashon hara towards her?? She apologized. As Jews we must accept it and move on- there shouldn't be any more embarassment targeting her. No one is perfect, lets take it as a lesson on continue to bring moshiach now!
(1/31/2009 3:20:12 PM)
57
to hasten the redemption
wow what a way to increase yiddishkeit go on the show a make a kidish hashem right on! yechai moshiach!
(2/1/2009 3:06:04 AM)
58
let this young lady go spend time in crown heights
(2/1/2009 5:35:15 AM)
59
let this young lady go spend time in crown heights
(2/1/2009 5:35:15 AM)
60
let this young lady go spend time in crown heights
and or seminary in israEL?

this one is ACHING for torah
(2/1/2009 5:36:17 AM)
61
She did not apologize, no apology accepted
How is making a phone call to one person, after trash-talking in front of millions on national TV, and saying "I was off-color" an "apology"? Nobody complained that she was "off-color." She insulted an entire population of women, she did not say dirty jokes in front of a national TV audience. BTW has anyone complained to Hallmark about this insulting movie which give her all these whack ideas about Jewish women? "The Forward" loved this movie so from that you can be 100% sure it is demeaning and degrading to frum Jews.
(2/2/2009 1:27:23 PM)
62
she shouldnt do all tbhat in the first place
then she doesnt have to ''apologize''
(2/3/2009 3:43:10 AM)
63
suggestion
i think that mrs. bronya shaffer should be on her show, where a public apology is made, and then mrs. shafffer is interviewed about chassidic women....
(2/3/2009 5:29:47 PM)
64
!woo!
wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh sara esther!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(2/4/2009 1:19:02 PM)
65
Lighten up
You are all taking this way too seriously. You have to understand that to the secular world (of which I am a member) you represent extremism. And extremism in the best case, is just funny (in the worst case it's deadly).
(2/10/2009 5:07:59 AM)
66
As someone who is secular as well
I live in a neighborhood in Aventura Florida which is primarily Jewish, both secular and Chassidic. on Friday night, I see the religious people walk to synagogue and I think it is beautiful even though I am not religious. The Chassidic teenage girls across the street babysit my 6 year old son sometimes (obviously not on Friday and Saturday night). They are the nicest, sweetest, most trustworthy, and wonderful babysitters anyone could ever ask for. And even though I do not dress modestly by any means, they never judge me.
And who cares anyway about how someone dresses or looks. Its what is in their heart. Essman needs to figure this out and publicly retract her comments in front of those women from the view.
(2/23/2009 3:13:20 PM)
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