Katy Perry's Pastor Dad: Sorry for Ugly Anti-Semitic Remarks

Hitmaker's minister-father lands himself in a heap of controversy with the Jewish community for some questionable language he used in a recent sermon

By Josh Grossberg Jan 12, 2012 4:31 PMTags
Katy Perry, Keith HudsonJason LaVeris/Filmmagic

Former church girl Katie Perry has said in the past she's not really close with her preacher parents. That's shaping up to be a good thing.

The popster's evangelist father, Keith Hudson, is apologizing to the Jewish community after causing an uproar when he used anti-Semitic imagery in a guest sermon last weekend at a Cleveland-area church.

"I deeply regret the hurtful and ugly language I used in my message in Ohio," the 63-year-old Hudson said in a statement issued to media outlets and Jewish human rights organizations. "I understand the power of words, and the need for all of us to think twice before using words that hurt or harm others. I apologize for the hurt that I caused my Jewish friends."

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Katie's dad told congregants of the Church on the Rise in Westlake, Ohio: "You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey."

"You go to L.A. and they own all the Rolex and diamond places. Walk down a part of L.A. where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah! Amen," he said.

The comment didn't sit well with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which denounced him on Monday for dredging up old anti-Semitic stereotypes.

"If you take out 'L.A.' from his rant, most people would guess that Hitler or Goebbels was speaking," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center.

The Anti-Defamation League piled on, adding in a statement that the remarks were "unabashedly anti-Semitic" and calling it "unfortunate that [Katy Perry's] good name is now attached to her father's words."

In his mea culpa, Hudson said he isn't an anti-Semite, but he did admit he probably would have gone on employing such language until its true origin was pointed out to him.

"I have had a few days to think about what I said, and to listen to my words as they were understood by others," he noted. "I used images about Jews rooted in the worst anti-Semitism in the past, images that at times led to the persecution and murder of Jews…I used them without ever considering what they meant."

Rev. Paul Endrei, pastor of the Church on the Rise, subsequently spoke with the Wiesenthal Center's interfaith director, saying he was "deeply hurt" by Hudson's rant, that his congregation does not share his views and pledging proud support for the state of Israel.

For her part, Perry has yet to comment on the controversy.