Joan Rivers to Anti-Defamation League: "Don't Talk to Me About the Holocaust!"

Comic legend shrugs off criticism from the watchdog group that accused her of trivializing the Holocaust when she compared Costco to Nazi Germany for allegedly banning her book

By Josh Grossberg Aug 10, 2012 8:23 PMTags
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Joan Rivers has a message for the folks at the Anti-Defamation League: Mind your own business.

The funnylady tells E! News that the watchdog group has bigger fish to fry rather than calling her out for comparing Costco to Nazi Germany after the warehouse chain giant allegedly banned her new book, I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me, due to profanity.

"Number one, my husband lost most of his family in Auschwitz, so don't talk to me about the Holocaust," Rivers tells E!, defending the analogy. "Number two, banning books anywhere is a bad portent. Number three, the ADL should worry more about the world's attitude toward Israel than waste time and energy on me, because I'm not going to stop saying what I think."

Don't we know it!

Costco's decision not to carry her tome prompted Rivers to stage an in-store protest on Tuesday in which she handcuffed herself to a shopping cart. She also brought along a megaphone, shouting, "Costco should not be like Nazi Germany! Next thing they'll be burning the Bible."

It's the latter statement that drew the scrutiny of the ADL, which monitors public discourse to protect the memory and legacy of the Holocaust.

In a letter to the E! Fashion Police host, the group's national director, Abraham Foxman, himself a Holocaust survivor, called on Rivers to retract her "inappropriate" remarks and demanded she stop making such allusions in the future.

"While Joan Rivers may be right in criticizing Costco's decision, there is simply no comparison between a private company's choice not to sell a book and the policies of the Nazi regime that engaged in the systematic persecution and slaughter of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust," Foxman said in a statement. "Such comparisons only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II."

The 79-year-old comedian meanwhile took to her Twitter page to offer some parting thoughts regarding her big box nemesis.

"Just been thinking: What are the chances that I will be able to renew my Costco membership card at the end of this year?" she tweeted.

—Additional reporting by Baker Machado and Sharareh Drury