Actress Selma Blair (“Cruel Intentions,” “Legally Blonde,” “Hellboy”) is facing a mighty backlash after she posted, then deleted, a comment with what’s been seen as anti-Muslim rhetoric. Blair commented on a video that disparages Rep. Cori Bush and Rep. Rashida Talib. She called for the deportation of “these terrorist supporting goons” and wrote, “Islam has destroyed Muslim countries and then they come here and destroy minds.”
Blair deleted the comment after she faced an uproar online.
Blair’s entire comment read in full, “Thank you very much. Deport all these terrorist supporting goons. Islam has destroyed Muslim countries and then they come here and destroy minds. They know they are liars. Twisted justifications. May they meet their fate.”
Actors Michael Rapaport and Debra Messing also commented on the same video. Rapaport replied, “Love it,” while Messing wrote, “THANK YOU.”
Blair’s comments were condemned by Muslim civil rights and advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell issued a statement on behalf of the organization and invited Blair to a conversation about Islam.
Mitchell said, “No one is born a bigot, and we should never assume that someone is doomed to remain a bigot. Based on the hateful and ignorant remarks that Ms. Blair made, we doubt that she has ever engaged in any meaningful interactions with her Muslim colleagues in Hollywood or other members of the American Muslim community. We encourage Ms. Blair to apologize, and we also invite her to dialogue with our community.”
“We also call on Hollywood studios and agencies to stop punishing artists who express support for Palestinian human rights while ignoring hateful comments by artists who support the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” referencing the backlash faced by performers such as Melissa Barrera for comments on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
Blair’s comment has angered and hurt people around the world. Journalist Carolyn Hinds tweeted, “Selma Blair revealing herself to be a raging Islamaphobic bigot…well. Suddenly, I’m wondering about the reason why I, a journalist and film critic with MS, never got any replies to my requests for interviews with her and the director of her documentary about living with MS.”
The documentary was titled, “Introducing, Selma Blair.”
Writer Hend Amry also voiced her disapproval. She tweeted, “According to Selma Blair, I am a scourge unto the Republic. An interloper who should have stayed in the broken backwoods of the Muslim world where my dirty kind belong. She believes I should meet a terrible fate. This is who @BritishVogue wants you to believe is an icon.”
Blair, who was raised Jewish after she converted in the second grade, has not made further public comments about her post. Dom Kelly, the founder and CEO of disability justice and rights non-profit New Disabled South, broke down the myriad levels to Blair’s comment and why it was so hurtful.
He tweeted, “There are so many layers to the Selma Blair stuff, but a couple of things I’m thinking about as a disabled Jew: 1. I’ve always felt weird about celebrities being labeled ‘disability activists’ especially when they are just coming into their disabled identities…”
“They get propped up and centered and they’re almost always white and typically have zero political education. I’m not saying that someone new to disability identity and culture can’t be an activist, but there has to be humility and learning and staying quiet for a while.
“And it’s pretty much always been perpetuating inspiration porn. Like let’s be for real about the ‘inspiring’ narrative she’s upheld within and outside of Hollywood and, from my view, has done nothing to stop.”
He added, “The things that she’s said and co-signed on social media have been blatantly Islamophobic and racist, but unfortunately I have seen and directly heard similar rhetoric from many Jewish family and friends the past few months.”
“As Jews, how can we expect people to join us in the fight against actual antisemitism when we do nothing to call out or fight against Islamophobia, esp from the most prominent voices? Some of the folks I’ve seen claim to fight for social justice have said the most heinous s–t.”
He added, “I think we have a responsibility as Jews to hold each other accountable, especially those who claim to speak for us. The same thing applies for disabled folks.” Blair follows Kelly on social media.