Rachel Griffiths is acknowledging her “white bitch privilege” after sparking outrage with an insensitive post about getting a manicure, in which she wrote about how “America is burning” and “people are dying.”
The Australian actor, who’s best known her roles on television series like HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and the ABC soap “Brothers and Sisters,” caught backlash earlier this week for sharing a photo of herself at the nail salon.
Absolutely failing to read the room in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and protests against racial injustice, Griffiths told her followers that global unrest was “easier on the soul to watch” with a fresh coat of polish.
“Shallow I know,” Griffiths wrote alongside the photo with her diamond ring front and center. “America is burning people are dying … but still it just seems easier on the soul to watch all this happening with beautiful nails.”
“And judging by the line of desperate ladies I am not alone,” she continued. “Shallow people we are but I need to share this important covid update. The manicurists are open!!! Tip generously as they have had not income since COVID lockdown.”
Her post quickly caught the attention of people who called the actor out across social media.
“I am continually floored by celebrities who write wildly inappropriate and tone deaf statements and share it online,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Rachel Griffith’s post about her nails, featuring a ring with a stone the size of every semi-precious gemstone ring I’ve ever own combined, IS A CLANGER.”
“OMG is this Australia’s own Rachel Griffiths? Eeeek,” another added.
She has since deleted the post and issued a lengthy apology on Tuesday, going as far to thank her detractors for keeping her in check.
“The last few days have been wrenching,” she wrote in the caption. “My post early today leant away from that pain but I understand in doing so it pained others who can’t look away from what’s happening — can’t turn off and check out because it is their lives — their brothers theirs sisters their children. And it’s not over ‘there.’ This our country’s stain also.”
She continued: “I did not intend to trivialise just escape it. But that I understand is part of the problem. I am sorry. I am sorry that I got this so wrong today. I am sorry that I abdicated any meaningful sense making of what is happening this week and has been happening for centuries.”
“Thank you to the people who have called me out,” she concluded. “I have a long way to go to truly understand my white bitch privilege.”
While some readily forgave Griffiths for her misstep, others weren’t so keen on letting her off the hook, especially given her current role in “Total Control,” a political drama exploring racism and the discrimination against Indigenous Australians.
“Come on, you knew better,” one Instagram user commented under the post. “You are the Executive Producer and lead actress in a prime-time indigenous ABC Australia drama, about black deaths in custody, working alongside a prominent indigenous production company. You knew. You even said in the post ‘this is shallow…’, so why did you post it anyway? The spirit in which it was intended was pure ignorant white privilege.”