Actor Gary Oldman apologizes for Playboy comments

(JTA) — Actor Gary Oldman apologized for defending Mel Gibson’s 2006 drunken anti-Semitic rant and saying that Jews run Hollywood.

In an open letter to the Anti-Defamation League sent late Tuesday, and published online by Deadline.com, Oldman wrote, “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.

“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.”

Oldman also said that he had just finished reading “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood,” by Neal Gabler. “The fact is that our business, and my own career specifically, owes an enormous debt to that contribution,” he wrote.

ADL said in a statement issued after the letter became public that the apology was “insufficient.”

“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,” the statement said. “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.”

The ADL in a statement issued earlier Tuesday condemned Oldman for his remarks, saying he “should know better than to repeat tired anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of Hollywood.”

In the interview with Playboy magazine, Oldman said of Gibson, “He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. … The policeman who arrested him never used the word n***** or that f***ing Jew?”

Gibson had said during the rant that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

Oldman added, “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***ing kraut’ or ‘F*** those Germans,’ whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct.”

He did not apologize in the letter to other groups he insulted in the interview, including gays and African-Americans.

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