From the moment that people started picking very specific lines out of Gary Oldman’s new interview with Playboy (NSFW website), his reps were on the defensive, making it clear that the actor was not defending Mel Gibson or Alec Baldwin. Still, the comments about Hollywood’s and the public’s hypocrisies were out there for all the world to see, and the same media that Oldman was trying to rail against accepted his challenge and went to town in painting him as the latest crazy ass celebrity to lose his sh*t. A lot of outlets even reported that he was blasting “liberal Hollywood” despite the fact that he never used the word “liberal.”
Still, the Anti-Defamation League took particular offense to Oldman’s comments about Gibson biting the hand that fed him in a “town run by Jews,” and issued a statement to the media condemning Oldman for rehashing antiquated stereotypes, regardless of the context.
“The British actor remarked that, ‘Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him.” The ADL says the remarks “irresponsibly feed into a classic anti-Semitic canard about supposed Jewish control of Hollywood and the film industry,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. “He should know better than to repeat and give credence to tired anti-Semitic tropes. Mel Gibson’s ostracization in Hollywood was not a matter of being ‘politically incorrect,’ as Mr. Oldman suggests, but of paying the consequences for outing himself as a bigot and a hater. It is disturbing that Mr. Oldman appears to have bought into Mr. Gibson’s warped and prejudiced world view.” Foxman adds that the assertion that Jews control Hollywood…”is an anti-Semitic stereotype based on the ‘Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,’ the 19th Century anti-Semitic forgery that suggested Jews conspire to control major industries such as banking and finance.” (Via Deadline)
The Pope has yet to respond to Oldman’s “F*ck the Pope” remark, but he’s probably still handling the Sicilian mafia. Oldman, however, was quick to react to the ADL’s statement, issuing his own statement as people were still bending his words and inserting new ones into his interview on his behalf.
Dear Gentlemen of the ADL:
I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview were offensive to many Jewish people. Upon reading my comments in print—I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype. Anything that contributes to this stereotype is unacceptable, including my own words on the matter. If, during the interview, I had been asked to elaborate on this point I would have pointed out that I had just finished reading Neal Gabler’s superb book about the Jews and Hollywood, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews invented Hollywood. The fact is that our business, and my own career specifically, owes an enormous debt to that contribution.
I hope you will know that this apology is heartfelt, genuine, and that I have an enormous personal affinity for the Jewish people in general, and those specifically in my life. The Jewish People, persecuted thorough the ages, are the first to hear God’s voice, and surely are the chosen people.
I would like to sign off with “Shalom Aleichem”—but under the circumstances, perhaps today I lose the right to use that phrase, so I will wish you all peace–Gary Oldman. (Via Deadline)
It would be safe to assume that Oldman is now going to pretend that he has that gated home to lock himself within, but if Miley Cyrus or the Kardashians inevitably come calling for their own apologies, let’s hope that Oldman stands his ground.