Gary Oldman has apologized for his anti-Semitic remarks during his defense of Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin in a recent Playboy interview.
"I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the PlayboyInterview 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," Oldman said in an open letter to the Anti-Defamation League.
During the controversial interview, Oldman began ranting about the shortcomings and hypocrisy of political correctness in Hollywood, particularly as it pertained to Gibson's and Baldwin's derogatory comments towards Jews and gays.
"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---ing hypocrites," Oldman said. "That's what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n----- or that f---ing Jew? I'm being brutally honest here. It's the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy."
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"Alec calling someone a 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," Oldman continued. "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---ing kraut' or 'F--- those Germans,' whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That's what gets me."
Abraham Foxman, the ADL's national director, criticized Oldman's remarks, saying the actor "should know better than to repeat tired anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of Hollywood."
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In Oldman's apology letter, he conceded his remarks were insensitive, while claiming he is in no way anti-Semitic. "Anything that contributes to this stereotype is unacceptable, including my own words on the matter," Oldman wrote. "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," Oldman added, before concluding: "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."
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