Gary Oldman Says Being P.C. Is 'Crap,' Defends Alec Baldwin & Mel Gibson
Gary Oldman did not hold back at all in a recent and very candid interview with Playboy. After saying "political correctness is crap," he went on a rant defending Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic remarks and Alec Baldwin's homophobic comments.
The 56-year-old seasoned actor was promoting his film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but also shared his thoughts about everything under the sun. (This included what might have led to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, saying that Hoffman might have "looked in the mirror and always saw that very pale sort of fat kid" or that "at the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave you were a racist.") He even told the interviewer to edit or cut half of the interview for publication because it would make him "sound like a bigot," Oldman said. (This, of course, was added to the story.)
And the reason for that is that he started defending Gibson, who was arrested in 2006 for suspected DUI and saying anti-Semitic remarks to a policeman:
OLDMAN: I don't know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we've all said those things. We're all fucking hypocrites. That's what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I'm being brutally honest here. It's the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say "the N word" and "the F word," though there are two F words now. PLAYBOY: The three-letter one?
OLDMAN: Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he's pissed off coming out of his building because they won't leave him alone. I don't blame him. So they persecute. 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—and doesn't need to feed him anymore because he's got enough dough. He's like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn't turned and said, "That fucking kraut" or "Fuck those Germans," whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That's what gets me. It's just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, "Isn't that shocking?" [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now?
Mee added: "Jews have been persecuted and put down over the years. Why would I, as a Jew, do that to other races?"
UPDATE 6/25/14, 10:05 a.m.: Oldman issued an apology to the Anti-Defamation League after they criticized his comments in the interview, according to Deadline:
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.
While his apology may be heartfelt, Mr. Oldman does not understand why his words about Jewish control were so damaging and offensive, and it is therefore insufficient. His reference to the Neal Gabler book he was reading only reinforces the notion that Jewish directors, producers and financiers are there in Hollywood as Jews. They’re not, and the book does not draw that conclusion. They are there acting as individuals. They do not pursue a Jewish agenda or strategy. They are there acting as professionals and Americans with skills working alongside many other non-Jews who are also in show business for the same reasons.
Mr. Oldman needs to recognize that his words, not just as they were written, but as he uttered them, are deeply offensive. And he needs to be sensitive to the fact that other remarks for which he has yet to apologize - including his disparaging remarks about the Pope and about gay people - were also deeply troubling and hurtful to many.
hether they intend it or not, celebrities act as role models and bear an outsized responsibility for their words and their actions. Oldman needs to make clear not only to the Jewish community but also his fans that his words were are predicated on offensive notions and, as such, are clearly unacceptable.
“Gary Oldman’s remarks irresponsibly feed into a classic anti-Semitic canard about supposed Jewish control of Hollywood and the film industry," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "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."