while trying to joke with the crowd during her show at Massey Hall in Toronto in 2009.
She was telling a story about how she had bought two guitars from “a rude Toronto pawn-shop owner” earlier in the day. “He wasn’t Canadian — he was Jewish,” she said, before realizing that statement was incredibly offensive to Jews in the audience, including my daughter, her friend and the friend’s father.
In a statement later released by Columbia Records, the singer said: “I sincerely apologize for being so naive and disrespectful! It was not my intention to be hurtful and I’m very sorry.”
This apology reads a little like: “I’m sorry for calling you stupid” or perhaps more appropriately, “I’m sorry for calling you fat.”
If Adele had said: “He wasn’t Canadian — he was black,” I suspect the media and public response would have been quite different. Somehow, in recent years, it’s become acceptable to disparage Jews in public, and we are all to blame for allowing it to just happen.
This was a disgraceful comment, and it’s a clear reflection of Adele’s true feelings about Jewish people. A half-baked apology doesn’t change that.
Ironic, isn’t it, that Karl Lagerfeld’s foolish and offensive comment that Adele is “a little too fat” has received so much attention, when Adele’s own racist slur did not.
Ronna Rubin, Toronto.