Gary Oldman Apologizes for Stereotyping Jews - Rolling Stone
Home Culture Culture News

Gary Oldman Apologizes for Stereotyping Jews

The actor says he’s “deeply remorseful” for controversial remarks made in a recent ‘Playboy’ interview

Gary OldmanGary Oldman

Gary Oldman

John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter obtained a statement from ADL national director Abraham Foxman, who said, “We have just began a conversation with his managing producer. At this point, we are not satisfied with what we received. His apology is insufficient and not satisfactory.”

Gary Oldman has issued his inevitable apology for (some of) the controversial statements he made in a candid Playboy interview posted on Tuesday. In a statement obtained by Deadline, the actor reaches out to the Anti-Defamation League, expressing remorse for perpetuating stereotypes about Jews in Hollywood.

Watch Gary Oldman in David Bowie’s Video for ‘The Next Day’

“I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy interview were offensive to many Jewish people,” he says. “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.”

Oldman closes by noting that his apology is “heartfelt” and “genuine,” while also expressing his “enormous personal affinity for the Jewish people, in general.” He even calls Jews “surely 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,” he writes.

Of course, Oldman’s Playboy interview was an equal-opportunity offender, as the actor mouthed off about political correctness in all directions – using the N-word while touching on Mel Gibson’s infamous drunken rant against the Jews and empathizing with Alec Baldwin, who reportedly hurled an anti-gay slur at a photographer.

“I don’t know about Mel,” Oldman said. “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.”

“He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know?” Oldman continued about Gibson. “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?'”

Oldman, who’s set to star in the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, also slammed popular comedians like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, whom he says veil their political incorrectness with satire.

“Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a cunt — and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless cunt — I can’t really say that,” said Oldman. “But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, ‘I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.’ He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, ‘You fag’? I don’t get it.”

And he even snuck in a jab at Hollywood for perceived double standards. “At the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave, you were a racist,” he said. “You have to be very careful about what you say. I do have particular views and opinions that most of this town doesn’t share, but it’s not like I’m a fascist or a racist. There’s nothing like that in my history.” 

In This Article: Alec Baldwin, Gary Oldman, Mel Gibson


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.