Halloween actress Jamie Lee Curtis is speaking out after some antisemitic tweets from musician Kanye West. In an interview with the Today Show's Hoda Kotb, Curtis condemned West, explaining that his threats were dangerous. "It's abhorrent, it's abhorrent behavior. I hope he gets help," she said.
The actress was clearly emotional in the clip later shared by the Today Show's TikTok page @todayshow, after being asked for her reaction to the tweets.
"I burst into tears," Curtis told the news anchor. "I woke up and burst into tears," she added.
According to the Washington Post, West wrote several antisemitic tweets last week. Including one in which he threatened to go "death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE" and an earlier post on Instagram which claimed that fellow rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs was controlled by Jewish people – a common antisemitic trope that that got his account shut down on Instagram, and his later tweet got his account locked on Twitter.
Of course we all know that words matter, as Curtis emotionally tried to explain in her interview. "Death con 3 on Jewish people?" she said, quoting his rant. "What are you doing? It's bad enough that fascism is on the rise around the world, but on Twitter, on a portal, to pour that in. As if Jewish people haven't had it hard enough," she continued. "I woke up and thought, 'my grandparents'..." she added through tears. According to Kveller, the actress was referencing her own personal connection to the Holocaust.
The actress also tried to appeal to West's sense of decency in a tweet she fired back at him last week which read: "Words matter. A threat to Jewish people ended once in a genocide. Your words hurt and incite violence. You are a father. Please stop.”
According to the Anti Defamation League, antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in 2021. "ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, issued today, found that antisemitic incidents reached a high watermark across virtually every category," the website explains. "Attacks against Jewish institutions, including Jewish community centers (JCCs) and synagogues, were up by 61 percent, incidents at K-12 schools increased 106 percent, and incidents on college campuses rose 21 percent."
The website also states that physical acts violence, or assaults, increased by 167 percent,"jumping to a total of 88 reports in 2021 from 33 in 2020. Incidents of harassment were up 43 percent, and acts of antisemitic vandalism rose 14 percent," it reads. Which makes West's comments so much more dangerous.
People in the comments section praised Curtis for speaking out. "That man’s behavior is scary. No joke," @lisamckee6 wrote. "Good for you Jamie. Use your platform and we will support you," @manlyman12345 agreed. "Anyone that follows him or laughs off his behavior is part of the problem. Thank you for speaking up," @chuckbassscarf chimed in.
Many of West's supporters will write off the incident as being related to his bipolar disorder, but as Kveller very accurately points out, that does nothing but stigmatize mental illness.
No word yet on whether West will apologize for the move.