The actor Jamie Foxx has apologized after a social media post from him drew accusations of antisemitism.
Foxx’s post – on Instagram – read: “They killed this dude name Jesus … what do you think they’ll do to you???! #fakefriends #fakelove”. But the 55-year-old entertainer deleted the post after fellow users asserted that it echoed the hateful belief that Jewish people all together as one crucified and killed Jesus Christ.
That idea has been used to justify violence against Jews for centuries, such as during the Holocaust, when 6 million were murdered in Europe by the Nazis. A major document signed by the worldwide Roman Catholic church’s leadership during the Second Vatican Council in 1965 officially condemned the idea that Jews were collectively guilty for Christ’s killing.
And on Saturday, Foxx published a new Instagram post which contained a mea culpa from the actor.
“I want to apologize to the Jewish community and everyone who was offended by my post,” Foxx’s statement said. “I now know my choice of words [has] caused offense and I’m sorry. That was never my intent.
“To clarify, I was betrayed by a fake friend and that’s what I meant with ‘they’ not anything more.”
Foxx’s apology concluded with an expression of love and support “for everyone”, including “the Jewish community”, along with another offering of “deepest apologies”.
Meanwhile, Foxx wasn’t the only actor to be ensnared by his Instagram controversy. Jennifer Aniston appeared to have clicked the platform’s “like” button under Foxx’s deleted “they killed this dude name Jesus” post, and she has since released her own statement condemning antisemitism.
“This really makes me sick,” said Aniston’s statement, which was posted on Instagram Stories. “I did not ‘like’ this post on purpose or by accident. And more importantly, I want to be clear to my and anyone hurt by this showing up in their feeds – I do not support antisemitism. And I truly don’t tolerate HATE of any kind. Period.”
Foxx’s handling of the episode did earn him numerous supportive comments. Alongside the actor’s apology Saturday, music producer Breyon Prescott wrote, “Anyone that has been around you knows that you have no hate for anyone!!! … [You’re] the best, don’t let anyone make you think differently.”
The actor Porscha Coleman added: “People can’t even speak any more without someone being offended. You were clearly talking about someone you thought was a friend who turned out to be a backstabber … Society is so sensitive these days!”
And podcast host Mark Birnbaum, who is Jewish, wrote on Instagram that he found Foxx to be “the most inclusive non-antisemitic person out there”.
“He’s got nothing but love for everyone, including us Jews,” Birnbaum said. “Let’s move onto the next nonsensical story of the day.”
Other users remarking on Foxx also alluded to his prior displays of solidarity with the Jewish community. In 2017, he performed at a barmitzvah-themed birthday party in honor of the singer Drake as well as at a Jewish fan’s barmitzvah.
Foxx’s Instagram uproar came two weeks after he broke his silence about having been hospitalized for an unspecified health problem earlier this year.
In a video on the platform, Foxx said the problem had sent him “to hell and back” and forced him to endure “potholes” on the road to recovery. But, while thanking those who had supported him, he dismissed speculation that he was paralyzed or blind and added: “I’m coming back. And I’m able to work.”
Foxx won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 film Ray. His most recent work saw him star alongside John Boyega in the Netflix comedy They Cloned Tyrone, which was released in July. And at the time he became ill in April he was filming Back in Action, another Netflix comedy co-starring Cameron Diaz in her first movie role in nearly 10 years.