Damnit Janet! Susan Sarandon is getting some heat for referring to the current pope as a Nazi (and then repeating it) in an offhand remark while talking about her movie 1995 Dead Man Walking on Saturday in the Hamptons. Seems that back then Sarandon sent a copy of the book the movie was based on to the pope. "The last one," she clarified, "not this Nazi one we have now." When her interviewer, Bob Balaban, gently tut-tutted she didn't back down and just repeated the remark. And now of course the Catholic League is furious!
"Sarandon’s comment is obscene. Sadly, it’s what we’ve come to expect from her," Catholic League president Bill Donohue said in a statement. Because why not point at any easy Hollywood target than deal with some of the Church's actual problems.
It wasn't like Sarandon's statement came out of nowhere. As has been widely discussed elsewhere, before Pope Benedict XVI became pontiff, he was Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. And when little Joey Ratzinger was a teen, he was a member of the Hitler Youth. But that's okay, apparently, since according to Donohue, "Unlike most of the other teenagers, Ratzinger refused to go to meetings, bringing economic hardship to his family. Moreover ... he deserted at the first opportunity."
For what it is worth, the Catholic League isn't the only one irked at the woman who was Louise. The Anti-Defamation League agrees, saying that "Ms. Sarandon may have her differences with the Catholic Church, but that is no excuse for throwing around Nazi analogies. Such words are hateful, vindictive and only serve to diminish the true history and meaning of the Holocaust."