Calling it “an awful and disgusting lie,” Will Smith said through his publicist that he is angry with a newspaper reporter’s interpretation of comments he made about Hitler, The Associated Press reported. In an article published Saturday in The Daily Record, in Scotland, Mr. Smith was quoted as saying: “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was good.” The quotation was preceded by the reporter’s observation, “Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.” On Monday the Jewish Defense League denounced the reported comment and urged movie theaters to stop showing “I Am Legend,” in which Mr. Smith stars. In his publicist’s statement, the actor said: “I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such a ludicrous misinterpretation. Adolf Hitler was a vile, heinous vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet.”
Give it a break! I know exactly what it meant and it was not anti-Semitic.
Jonathan Dresner -
Two points: First, the JDL is one of the most radical, close-minded and dangerous groups purporting to represent the interests of Jews in America, and I'm largely of the opinion that anything they support is a bad idea. Second, Mr. Smith's commentary is entirely correct, and an essential point which underlies historians attempts to understand the worldview and actions of people of the past.
Now I'll get to quote Will Smith in my lectures: wonder if my students will think that's cool or not?