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Natalie Portman apologizes for race quote

Dec. 8, 2004 at 12:48 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Actress Natalie Portman has written to U.S. style magazine Allure to explain comments she made during an interview in which she empathized with being black.

Portman, born in Israel and of Jewish descent, told Allure the attributed quote, "I'm not black, but I know what it feels like," was "personally offensive" when she read it in the publication's August issue, World Entertainment New Network reported Wednesday.

"If I had spoken more articulately, I might have conveyed what I truly feel: I could never know what it is like to be a black American," wrote Portman, who speaks several languages. "The 'it' I was referring to when I said, 'I know what it feels like,' was not intended to signify that I know 'how black people feel' but rather that I know what Dubois' concept of double-consciousness feels like."

Portman also says her quote was taken out of context.

"Had my quote included what I actually said preceding that statement, perhaps my meaning would have been clearer. I sincerely, and with my deepest regrets for offending any readers, apologize and apologize and apologize."

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