Jeff Goldblum faces backlash for Islam comments on RuPaul’s Drag Race

The actor asked a queen of Iranian ancestry about Islam's treatment of women and the LGBTQ+ community

Jeff Goldblum has faced backlash from viewers of RuPaul‘s Drag Race after his comments on Islam.

Appearing as a guest judge, he asked one contestant Jackie Cox, who is of Iranian ancestry, about Islam’s treatment of women and the LGBTQ+ community.


Cox, real name Darius Rose, was dressed in a stars and stripes hijab in keeping with the episode’s patriotic theme, which the drag queen said “represents the importance that visibility for people of religious minorities need to have in this country.”

Goldblum then asked Cox: “Is there something in this 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.”

The actor’s comments sparked backlash online. The poet Omar Sakr said: “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…”

Others described the comment as “incredibly uneducated and dangerous and hurtful,” and said his comment “erases Muslim women & LGBT people fighting to practice Islam while affirming their identity.”


Some also said that texts from other religions such as Christianity and Judaism are intolerant of homosexuality, and questioned Goldblum’s decision to single out Islam.

Others, however, defended Goldblum’s asking of the question. “It is an extremely valid discussion point on an episode that focussed on the political nature of being LGBT. We need to be able to have these discussions,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

Cox herself responded on the show with an impassioned speech about her identity. “When [Donald Trump’s] Muslim ban happened, it really destroyed a lot of my faith in this country, and really hurt my family.

“That’s so wrong to me. And I had to show America that you can be LGBT and from the Middle East, and there’s gonna be complicated shit around that, and that’s OK.”

Godblum is no stranger to controversial comments. In November 2019 he sparked backlash for defending Woody Allen and saying he would “definitely” work with him again.

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