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Not Hilarious: Comedian Apologizes For Racially Profiling Muslims, Sikhs

By Victoria M. Walker

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Jess Hilarious apologized after a video of the comedian disparaging four men in turbans boarding an airplane went viral. In a separate video, which appeared to have been shot the same day, the comedian lambasted critics claiming that she “felt threatened.”

Her tone changed in an Instagram video she released on Monday.

“Please don’t believe everything you see and hear, this is what it really is,” the comedian wrote in the video’s caption, which had over 1 million views on Tuesday morning.

“So, naturally in my previous post, I was defensive, but that’s what happens when you don’t take the time to really know what’s transpiring,” Jess started. “In understanding the error of my actions, I have to first acknowledge the rooted issues, which means racially profiling a group of individuals based on their appearance, and on top of that, publicizing it on a platform where others can be hurt by it and others were hurt from it.”

Reaction to the apology on the comedian’s Instagram video was mixed.

“I applaud you for accepting ownership, a lot of people in any industry fail to do that,” one commenter wrote.


“She thinks she can publicity by humiliating others…you just ruined your career…idiot,” wrote another.

Jess is perhaps best-known for her appearances on VH1 on BET, and is the lead actress on 20th Century Fox Television’s “Rel.” Fox on Tuesday told The Root that the network had “no official comment” regarding Jess’s remarks.

The comments came days after a white supremacist gunman stormed through two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 worshippers. Hate crimes against Sikhs are common, according to a report by non-profit organization Sikh Coalition. It estimated Sikhs in the U.S. experienced one hate crime per week since the beginning of 2018.

Muslims in the U.S. were targeted in nearly 20 percent of hate crimes reported in 2017, according to an FBI report.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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