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Julianna Margulies Addresses Backlash Following Her Inflammatory Comments About Israel-Hamas War

Amid criticism about her claim that some people not supporting Israel "have been brainwashed to hate Jews," Margulies issued a statement defending her "love and respect" for the Black and LGBTQ+ communities

<p>Astrid Stawiarz/Getty</p>

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Julianna Margulies is speaking out after facing backlash for criticizing the Black and LGBTQ+ communities over their perceived lack of support for Israel amid its ongoing war against Hamas.

“I am horrified by the fact that statements I made on a recent podcast offended the Black and LGBTQIA+ communities, communities I truly love and respect,” Margulies told PEOPLE in a statement. “I want to be 100% clear: Racism, homophobia, sexism, or any prejudice against anyone’s personal beliefs or identity are abhorrent to me, full stop."

"Throughout my career I have worked tirelessly to combat hate of all kind, end antisemitism, speak out against terrorist groups like Hamas, and forge a united front against discrimination," she continued. "I did not intend for my words to sow further division, for which I am sincerely apologetic.”

Her apology was first reported by Deadline.

The three-time Emmy winner, 57, appeared on the Nov. 20 episode of The Back Room with Andy Ostroy podcast when she made her remarks as the topic of antisemitism in light of the Israel-Hamas conflict surfaced.

Related: Amy Schumer Speaks Out After Criticism of Her Israel-Hamas Social Media Posts: 'I Want Peace'

On the podcast, Margulies and Ostory — known for his HBO documentary on his late wife Waitress director Adrienne Shelly — got into the topic of antisemitism, with Margulies saying former President Donald Trump "legitimized" its rise when he praised neo-Nazi protestors after the 2017 riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

From there, the The Morning Show actress spoke about what she perceived as a lack of support for Israel after its citizens were attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7, comparing it to responses she says she and other Jewish people have offered the Black and LGBTQ+ communities during previous injustices.

"I’m the first person to march [for] Black Lives Matter. When that happened to George Floyd, I put a black screen on my Instagram. Like, I ran to support my Black brothers and sisters,” Margulies continued. "When LGBTQ people are being attacked, I run. I made a commercial for same-sex marriages with my husband in 2012. Like, I am the first person to jump up when something is wrong, as I think most Jews are, because we have been persecuted from the beginning of time — not just World War II, but literally from the beginning of time when we first lived in Israel way before anybody else.”

<p>Arturo Holmes/WireImage</p>

Arturo Holmes/WireImage

Related: Joe Biden Meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel: 'Americans Are Grieving with You'

After Ostory said, "You're 100 percent right. If we use the wrong pronouns on college campuses, there'd be an uproar," Margulies went on to criticize progressive young people whom she feels have supported those attacking Jews.

"It’s those kids who are spewing this antisemitic hate that have no idea if they stepped foot in an Islamic country — these people who want us to call them 'they/them' or whatever they want us to call them, which I have respectfully really made a point of doing ... like, be whoever you want to be — it’s those people that will be the first people beheaded and their heads played [like] a soccer ball on the field," she said. "And that's who they're supporting? Terrorists who don’t want women to have their rights? LGBTQ people get executed, bar none. And this is who you’re supporting? It is so insane to me that is it laughable if it wasn't so sad."

"It's unfathomable," Margulies said. "And where are the professors, calling all of these students into the auditorium and saying, 'Hold on a minute. Guys, do you understand what a terrorist organization is about? Learn what you're supporting."

On Thursday, Washington Post journalist Karen Attiah called out the actress' comments, saying on X (formerly known as Twitter), "Wish I could say that Julianna Margulies' racist rant against Black people is an outlier. But as I've said before, I've heard this same sentiment from supposedly liberal circles."

"Solidarity w/ Black people is transactional. We are supposed to be grateful charity recipients," Attiah continued.

Related: Human Rights Campaign Declares First-Ever 'National State of Emergency' for LGBTQ+ Community

<p>Noam Galai/WireImage</p>

Noam Galai/WireImage

Related: Angelina Jolie Says 'Humanity Demands an Immediate Ceasefire' in Israel-Hamas War

She also made an apparent reference to a New York Post story about the LionLez group — Columbia university's self-described "radical POC-run club for Queer women and nonbinary people" — disinviting "Zionists" from a film night they were holding.

"You know, there was a film being shown by this Black lesbian club on the Columbia campus and they put up signs that said, ‘no Jews allowed,' " Margulies claimed. “And as someone who plays a lesbian journalist on The Morning Show, I am more offended by it as a lesbian than I am as a Jew, to be honest with you.”

"I want say to them, ‘You f---ing idiots," she continued. "You don’t exist. You’re even lower than the Jews. A. You’re Black, and B. You’re gay. And you’re turning your back against the people who support you?’ Because Jews, they rally around everybody. It is a lonely place to be."

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p>

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Related: Family of Irish-Israeli Girl Who Spent 9th Birthday in Captivity Speaks Out as She's Released by Hamas

Margulies spoke about what she felt was the lack of support for Jews from the Black community.

She stated, "In the civil rights movement, the Jews were the ones that walked side by side with the Blacks — to fight for their rights, because they know. And now the Black community isn’t embracing us and saying, ‘We stand with you the way you stood with us?' Jews died for their cause! Where's the history lesson in that? Who is teaching these kids?"

"The fact that the entire Black community isn’t standing with us, to me says either they just don’t know, or they’ve been brainwashed to hate Jews," she said.

<p>Cindy Ord/Getty</p>

Cindy Ord/Getty

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Margulies has appeared to have turned off comments on her Instagram page and deactivated her profile on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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