Gary Oldman apologises
So you’ve heard about this Gary Oldman Playboy interview, right? Oldman’s defenders tried to make it sound like he was taken out of context. How could he be taken out of context when the magazine posted the transcript? Others are saying that Oldman was simply “illustrating the absurd by being absurd”. Is that how you read this?
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 f-cking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n---- or that f-cking 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-- 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 f-cking kr--” or “F-ck 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]
This isn’t a statement about political correctness so much as it’s a rationalisation of why Mel Gibson might have sh-tty things to say about Jewish people. If he had stopped at “haven’t we all been guilty of saying inappropriate, terrible words before? So who are we to judge?” without actually saying those terrible words out loud, he miiiiiiiiight have been OK. To keep going though, and to provide an explanation, like a JUSTIFICATION, for how Mel Gibson might be feeling, how put upon he might be by the “hand that feeds him”, is actually reflective of how Oldman himself feels about that hand too. It’s gross. It’s disappointing.
“They were right, when they said, we should never meet our heroes.” – Metric, Breathing Underwater
I think we just met Gary Oldman.
But Gary Oldman has a movie to sell, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. So. Damage control. An apology released through Deadline to the Anti-Defamation League that reads as follows:
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.
The problem with this apology is that it sounds sarcastic. It sounds like an inside joke. Was it meant to be a sarcastic, inside joke? Probably not? I don’t know. Maybe? But if you really want to express your contrition – genuine contrition – you might want to be more clear with your tone and language so that there can only be one interpretation of your words: that you are sorry, that you were being an ignorant f-ck, and that you are the only one to blame. See, I’m not entirely convinced that Gary Oldman feels that way. Especially not when he addresses his letter EXCLUSIVELY to the “Gentlemen of the ADL” and not to any of the other groups, apart from Jewish people, that he offended.
Click here to read the full interview with Oldman in Playboy.