Actor Gary Oldman apologized for a Playboy interview comments he had made defending Mel Gibson’s 2006 anti-Semitic rant.
“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,” Oldman had said in the original interview.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) responded with a statement that Oldman “should know better than to repeat tired anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of Hollywood.” The Simon Wiesenthal Center also condemned Oldman’s remarks.
“I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview were offensive to many Jewish people,” Oldman said in an apology obtained by Deadline Tuesday.
“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,” he said.