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."