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Gary Oldman Issues Apology For Comments In Playboy Interview

Gary Oldman Issues Apology For Comments In Playboy Interview

By now, you’ve seen the headlines and read the remarks made by Gary Oldman in the latest issue of Playboy, and no, we’re not talking about his desire to work with Paul Thomas Anderson or how much he liked “True Detective.” Rather, Oldman’s comments in the lad mag interview about Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin and Hollywood hypocrisy when it comes to prejudice and bigotry, quickly gained traction and it wasn’t long until the Anti-Defamation League called out the actor for giving “credence to tired anti-Semitic tropes” and appearing “to have bought into Mr. Gibson’s warped and prejudiced world view.”

Responses to the incident have been interesting—both Mike Fleming at Deadline and Dave Poland at The Hot Blog have considered thoughts on the matter—and here’s the thing that’s unfortunate with interviews, whether they are hours long or a quick fifteen minute talk at a junket: you only get one chance to answer a question, and it’s on the spot. And so, when Playboy in the latter half of the interview asks, “What do you think about what [Mel Gibson’s] gone through these past few years?,” Oldman—clearly comfortable with writer David Hochman — dives into an answer.

And while the resulting response reads no better today than it did yesterday (or will tomorrow), what has been lost in the blog cycle (which admittedly The Playlist is part of) is that the comments in question were part of a larger narrative about “political correctness” and hypocrisy in Hollywood. I may not necessarily agree with Oldman and am still working out what exactly he was trying to get at, but it’s very easy for whatever nuance there might have been to get lost, and for a subject as complex as Mel Gibson, Hollywood culture, bigotry and more, I’m sure Oldman would’ve preferred more time to put this feelings together in a more reasoned and thoughtful manner. 

But what do you think? Has the press been too hard on Oldman? Read the actor’s apology below via 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.

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Chris Baker

I lost respect for Gary Oldman; for retracting his statement. The ADL are a pack of fascist; "RACIST", hypocrites, thugs and bullies. He was attacked for speaking only the truth; I am annoyed that he pathetically groveled; and begged forgiveness. It just goes to show my growing disgust with just about everyone in the mainstream entertainment industry; a bunch of unprincipled, and spineless; the whole lot!


He has a great publicist


The reaction to his previous comments was FANTASTIC and proved him 1000% right.

Shame he's apologised for speaking the fukcing truth.

Remember only mention anything to do with jewish people if you are praising them. Anything else means you are Antisemitic


I did have for Gary Oldman for speaking his true feelings but now he grovels for forgiveness. Pathetic, but I understand because of the business he is in. He doesn't want to blacklisted like Gibson.


You have no idea what Black people have to put up with on a daily bases. When is sorry not going to be good enough? We are tired! Just let us go. But then you would not have any art to steal, fashion, style or grace. You take everything from us and think a sorry is good enough. Just let us go…


That was such an over-the-top gravel for forgiveness (over something he didn't even do), that I can only suspect he is getting death threats?


lmao the media and all the idiots who get upset by his comments are actually proving his comments to be completely 100% true.


I love it how when people talk bad about Jews in interviews or whatever everyone freaks out, yet when filmmakers talk bad about Jews in their films through character dialogue no one blinks an eye.

Israeli's are Jewish people by the way, and no one seems to care that they are currently oppressing the Palestinian muslim people. What about Muslim's? Anytime there's a terrorist attack you see celebs and media outlets all of a sudden place blame on some Arab guy because they are racist and believe every extremist muslim is an Arab, and then said religion is stereotyped as a terrorist religion. What about those people?


"nuance"? Make me laugh. Oldman said what he thought and he wasn't forced into it. There are a million ways he could have answered or sidestepped the questions.

He was honest. His apology is fake, we know what he really thought, he told us. Didn't Maya Angelou say, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

He showed us who he is, the same way Mel Gibson exposed himself. These old, privileged, bigoted, rich white men are disgusting. Acting ability doesn't excuse their unacceptable opinions, words or actions. They're both disgusting excuses for human beings.


Actors seem to have a serious problem accepting the fact that audiences do not care to hear about their idiot political leanings. I understand every man wants to appear "deep and insightful", but actors are actors for a reason: plain, mere entertainment. So please, all actors out there who are lucky enough to be making a living: stand in your light, hit your mark, look pretty and STFU.


Very slimy, yeah of course he apologizes to the community that has a big hand in running the industry he depends on, but no apology for the black or gay communities.


Are there only 'gentlemen' at the Anti-Defamation League? Sincere question.


He shouldn't of had to apologize period. I'm sure he was pressured into it. Like when Jonah Hill spent ten minutes apologizing on the Tonight Show. Seriously, you would've thought the guy killed somebody! It's becoming beyond ridiculous. I'm blonde so that makes me a minority…do I cry everytime I hear a blonde joke? I don't think so. We don't owe GLADD or the ADL anything. Your opinions are your opinions and you are entitled to them.

sanker from india

Wow! Controversy means everyone totally ignored the fact that he called Harry potter and the dark knight stuff "work" and not "OMG! It was the greatest shit eva or whatever!"

Wake up fanboys, he's not into yer franchises!!!


First of all, I don't think bigotry is such a complex issue. It's wrong, end of story.

Also, Oldman's apology is sorely lacking in that he only apologises to the Jewish people. I guess African-Americans and homosexuals can still take a hike…

Getting a little tired of these 'speaking truth to the PC elite' asshats who are basically just spouting hateful and backwards views.

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