Jeff Goldblum's appearance on RuPaul's Drag Race has him being labeled as "anti-Muslim" by some fans. The actor found himself swept up in controversy after joining the series as a Season 12 guest judge, during which he sparked criticism after asking contestant Jackie Cox, who is Iranian-Canadian, if the Islamic religion was "anti-homosexuality" and "anti-woman."
After strutting the runway in a patriotic red and white striped kaftan and a blue hijab outlined with 50 stars to a voiceover saying, "You can be Middle Eastern, you can be Muslim and you can still be American," Cox was confronted with the question of whether or not she is religious, the Daily Mail reports. Cox admitted that she is not, stating, "to be honest, this outfit really represents the importance that visibility for people of religious minorities need to have in this country."
"Is there something in that religion that is anti-homosexuality and anti-woman? Does that complicate the issue? I'm just raising it and thinking out loud and maybe being stupid," Goldblum continued to question her religion's stance on the LGBTQ community and women.
The comment prompted the other judges to join in, with Ru Paul noting that drag has "always shaken the tree, so to speak." The host added that "there are so many different layers to this presentation" and that "if it was ever going to be done, this is the stage to do it." Cox agreed, stating that it was "a complex issue" and that she has her "own misgivings about the way LGBT people are treated in the Middle East."
Goldblum's remarks didn't settle well with many viewers. In the time following the comments, social media exploded with criticism, some labeled the actor as "anti-Muslim" while others pointed out the hypocrisy in the statements.0comments
"Jeff Goldblum felt the need to say 'but isn't Islam anti-gay and anti-woman' to Jackie because she was wearing a stars-and-stripes hijab, as if America hasn't been anti-gay and anti-woman from the outset, or killed and displaced millions of Muslims, including women and queers..." wrote one person. "America, and by extension Christianity, is forever allowed to be exemplified by the best of what it represents; Arabs and Muslims are forever and only allowed to be exemplified by the worst. This is not just tiresome, it's also deadly in how it entraps a billion+ in villainy."
"Jeff Goldblum's comments on [RPDR] tonight was unfortunate — such a simple, misinformed take on an entire religion," tweeted somebody else. "Lots of room for improvement for him... and America." At this time, Goldblum has not responded to the criticism. USA Today reached out to representatives for both Golblum and RuPaul's Drag Race but have not yet heard back.