I’m a guy who can take a joke, the dirtiest of the dirtiest jokes are jokes that I like to tell and laugh at. But there are some things that you don’t say in a public forum, and calling the Pope of the Catholic Church a Nazi is one of them.
The great actress Susan Sarandon, and she is a very great actress, stated on Saturday at Bay Street Theater while being interviewed by Bob Balaban that the freaking pope is a Nazi. In front of a large audience at Bay Street during the “Conversation With” series where she was talking about her movie “Dead Man Walking” she referred to the original book that the movie is based on and how the author gave it to the pope. “She gave a copy of the film to the pope,” Sarandon said of Sister Helen. “The last one, not this Nazi one, the one before.”
THIS NAZI ONE???
Balaban, trying to keep things light which was very much impossible at that point, said, “It’s a shame you’re so afraid to say what you really think.”
“He was a Nazi Youth, I’m not talking, or making it up,” Sarandon replied.
The remark got a laugh from the audience according to one witness that was there, but there was definitely some discomfort in the room.
The Catholic Church has responded to the whole incident. Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, told TMZ that, “Susan Sarandon’s quip about Pope Benedict XVI being a ‘Nazi’ bespeaks unparalleled ignorance.”
I’m sorry, but I have to side with the Catholic Church on this one. You can’t go around calling people Nazi’s when there is no merit to it in a public forum. If you are a professional comedian referring to the Pope or talking about religion in a set where you make fun of everybody and everything for the sake of humor, fine, but you don’t just blast that out as common conversation in front of an audience at Bay Street, or any audience for that matter.
Susan Sarandon was dead wrong about making a remark like that in my opinion, there really is nothing funny about it. The fact of the matter is that the current Pope did serve as part of the Hitler Youth, which was a requirement for young people in Nazi Germany. Calling him a Nazi matter of factly where you really aren’t joking but serious (this came across as too serious to me) is in fact, very ignorant to say. That’s like calling any person of German decent a Nazi, and that word is just too serious of a word, especially in the community on the East End which has a large Jewish population.
I really think that she should publicly apologize for this remark and not try to defend it. I think that if she did apologize for it, that it would be accepted.
It’s this type of thing that only causes problems and problems between large groups of people, I’m sure she was just trying to be funny and didn’t mean anything by it, but it’s unacceptable and an apology is needed.