Melissa Joan Hart is denying ever making anti-Semitic comments.
Last week, the “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” album, 42, was interviewed on the “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris” podcast when she opened up about moving her eldest son Mason, 12, from a Christian school to a public school.
She chatted the conversation she had with Mason before sending him off for his first day, “We don’t know if these people are good people,” she recalled telling Mason. “We don’t know if they believe in Jesus.”
But when Mason befriended a young Jewish boy, he didn’t understand how his new friend would get to heaven.
“He really took the Jesus part to heart,” she said.
“When a mom [of the child] called me with a problem in sixth grade I was like well, ‘Do I regret telling my son that we don’t know if people believe in Jesus, so we don’t know their character?’” Hart continued. “‘Is that a wrong thing to say? Did I set my son on the wrong path or was that the right thing to say and I should defend that?’”
After the episode aired, Hart received a ton of backlash. Many fans called her “anti-Semitic”.
“What the hell, so only People that believe in Jesus is GOOD? What are YOU TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN?” one fan wrote. “Not impressed with YOU MELISSA JOAN HART, SHAME ON YOU?”
Another commented, “I found her questioning of Jews and their beliefs/character to be quite offensive. It’s anti-Semitic and worse she’s raising her kids to be anti-Semitic. Didn’t the Pittsburgh temple massacre teach anyone anything?”
The backlash prompted a response from Hart, claiming she never meant to offend.
“I’ve been studying religion for the past 8 years and am learning more every day. I try to never judge anyone… unless they put ice in their wine… but I was simply telling my son that we knew the people at his old school, even down to their faith beliefs,” she wrote in the comments section on Instagram. “The new kids in school, we didn’t know a thing about so he was going to have to judge for himself.”
She added, “In the podcast, I talk about how he focused in on the Jesus part and it opened up discussions with friends and neighbours that might be a [sic] tricky for children to navigate. I never said Christians are superior. Just trying to explain better.”
Listen to Hart’s full interview here.