Law & Order: SVU star Richard Belzer has defended himself after throwing a Nazi salute at a TV festival in Monaco on Tuesday.
The actor baffled fans at the Monte Carlo event with his bizarre antics, striking a controversial pose by holding two fingers above his lips, seemingly to mimic Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. He then bent over on the red carpet and showed photographers his behind.
Belzer, who is Jewish, has now explained his behavior, and insists he was not acting offensively but simply mocking Hitler in the same vein as comedy legend Charlie Chaplin.
In a statement, he tells TMZ.com, "My grandfather represented Israel in the UN before it was made a nation. I'm a Jewish comedian, and there's this new thing out, it's called satire, irony and historical reference."
"To say that a Jew can't do that gesture as homage to Chaplin's masterpiece, The Great Dictator, is like Muslim extremists killing a cartoonist for disparaging Mohammed in his art."