Emily Blunt is apologizing after making a controversial joke about regretting her American citizenship after sitting through the Republican primary debate on Wednesday night.
The actress made the remark during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival. Sitting in with a group of celebrities that included Sandra Bullock and Ed Norton, Blunt told the Hollywood Reporter about how the first debate was aired shortly after she was sworn in as an American citizen.
“I became an American citizen recently, and that night, we watched the Republican debate and I thought, ‘This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?’ “
Though it was intended as a joke, Blunt’s remark drew an immediate controversy. She came under fire from the hosts of Fox and Friends, with Steve Doocy comparing her remark to Natalie Maines, who saw a giant backlash after criticizing then-President George W. Bush.
Like Blunt, Maines was forced to walk back her comments, but the damage was still done. Many radio stations vowed to ban the Dixie Chicks, and the ensuing controversy followed the group for years.
Others noted that Blunt owes much of her success to the American film industry.
“You know what? Why don’t you leave Hollywood, Calif., and let some American women take on the roles that you’re getting because the Americans are watching your movies and lining your pockets,” said Fox and Friends co-host Anna Kooiman (via E! Online). “She’s been in movies like The Devil Wears Prada and The Edge of Tomorrow.”
This is not the first time that Emily Blunt has spoken in a less-than-enthusiastic way about her becoming an American citizen. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she said it was actually a bittersweet moment.
“It’s so strange and slightly disarming,” the actress said. “I’m not sure I’m entirely thrilled about it. People asked me about [it] the whole day. They were like, ‘Oh, it must have been so emotional.’ And I was like, ‘It wasn’t. It was sad! I like being British. It was the most bizarre day.”
But now Emily Blunt is walking back her remarks, saying she never intended to cause controversy.
“I just, it was so not the intention to hurt anybody or cause any offense, so I really apologize to those I caused offense,” Blunt said on NBC’s Today show on Thursday. “It was just an off-hand joke. I think I’ll probably leave the political jokes to late-night or something.”
Emily Blunt clarified that taking the oath of citizenship was important for her, and she takes being an American seriously.
[Image via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]