In an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday, Halle Berry made an apparent anti-Semitic joke for which she is now apologizing.
The pregnant actress was on the show to promote her new movie “Things We Lost in the Fire,” and was showing Jay Leno and his audience distorted images of herself (think carnival funhouse) that she made on her computer.
One person who was in the audience says: “She introduced the first photo by saying, ‘Here’s where I look like my Jewish cousin!’ – it was a picture of her with a huge, distorted nose. No one laughed, and Jay nervously said, ‘I’m glad you said that and not me.’ When the show aired, they cut out her ‘Jewish’ comment and added a laugh track to the bit.”
On Monday night, Halle called Page Six to explain: “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.”
Since the show was taped, Halle asked The Tonight Show to edit that part of her interview, which they did.