When viewers tune in to Fashion Police’s Oscar wrap-up on E! they’re probably expecting cutting remarks, but Joan Rivers – no stranger to controversy – went a bit further than that with some not-so-innocent jokes about Heidi Klum’s Oscar outfit.
Speaking about Klum’s showstopping gold dress with a seriously plunging neckline, Rivers remarked Monday, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.” Yikes.
This made a lot of people quite upset, namely the Anti-Defamation League, who posted on their website: “Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better. This remark is so vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors, and indeed to all Americans, that we cannot believe it made it to the airwaves. Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence. Almost as bad as her original comment is the fact that she sat there doubled over with laughter after saying it.”
This isn’t the first time Rivers, who herself is Jewish, has made a joke about the Holocaust. Last year, when protesting Costco’s decision not to carry her book, she compared Costco to Nazi Germany. When people expressed outrage at the comparison, she said, “Don’t talk to me about the Holocaust,” according to the Anti-Defamation League’s website.
Rivers hasn’t responded to EW’s request for comment, nor has E!. Klum’s rep declined to comment. Rivers told The Hollywood Reporter, “My husband lost the majority of his family at Auschwitz and I can assure you that I have always made it a point to remind people of the Holocaust through humor.”