WHEN it comes to becoming the next Mel Gibson, Halle Berry may have missed it by a nose.
The Oscar-winning actress has issued a public mea culpa for a quip made on The Tonight Show Friday, in which she joked that a photogr
aph making her nose look unusually large could pass for a picture of “my Jewish cousin”.
While making the requisite small talk with host Jay Leno, Berry pulled out pictures she had taken of herself on her computer through Apple’s Photo Booth software.
“The machine morphs your face to look like all these silly other people,” she said. “Whenever I’m feeling really bad about the world I do this to crack myself up.”
In introducing the first picture from the batch, in which her nose was vastly distorted, Berry said, “This one, I don’t know, this is like my Jewish cousin.”
The full remark never made it on air, however. The audience’s silence at the attempted joke was covered with a laugh track and the word Jewish was muted out.
Leno’s reaction, though, was not.
“I’m glad you said it and not me,” he said.
Berry, however, appeared to realise her gaffe immediately.
“Oh, my God, have I just, like, ruined my whole career?” she asked, before going through the rest of her photo presentation.
The pregnant 41-year-old said Tuesday that the comment was not intended to be anti-Semitic and that she requested Leno to have it removed from the show.
“I so didn’t mean to offend anybody — and after the show I realised it could be seen as offensive, so I asked Jay to take it out, and he did,” she said.
Berry also said one of her assistants, who happens to be Jewish, actually made the joke just before the actress went on.
“What happened was I was backstage before the show, and I have three girls who are Jewish who work for me. We were going through pictures to see which ones looked silly, and one of my Jewish friends said, ‘That could be your Jewish cousin!’ And I guess it was fresh in my mind, and it just came out of my mouth. But I didn’t mean to offend anybody. I didn’t mean any harm.
“It was just supposed to be a silly segment. I am so sorry, and I apologise.” — Eonline.