The Washington Post

Susan Sarandon calls Pope Benedict a Nazi


Susan Sarandon. (Henry S. Dziekan III/GETTY IMAGES)

That someone happened to be Pope Benedict XVI.

The comment was made during a Hamptons International Film Festival interview Saturday with actor Bob Balaban. Sarandon was discussing her 1995 film, “Dead Man Walking,” Newsday reports, and said she sent the pope a copy of the book it was based on.

“The last one,” she continued, referring to Pope John Paul II. “Not this Nazi one we have now.”

Balaban reportedly discouraged the remark, which Sarandon then repeated.

Newsday reports that the comment was “somewhat offhanded.” (*See update two.) But if the gaggle of celebs who have invoked Hitler’s name have taught us anything, it’s that comparing anyone to a Nazi is usually a bad idea. Unless you’re Kanye West.

Update: The Catholic League has condemned Sarandon’s comment, calling it “obscene.” The Anti-Defamation League has asked the actress to apologize.

*Update two: A reader emailed Celebritology with concerns over the use of the word “murky” in this sentence that was previously in the post: “And the German pope does have a murky past involving the Hitler Youth.”

As a young man, Pope Benedict was forced to join the Hitler Youth when it became mandatory in Germany. We apologize if the word caused confusion or concern.

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