Gary Oldman, noble defender of free speech against the horrors of political correctness, apologized yesterday evening for speaking perhaps a little too freely with words like "that fucking Jew" in a Playboy interview.
The topic at hand was the controversies surrounding Mel Gibson's wildly anti-Semitic rant to a police officer in 2006 and Alec Baldwin's calling a paparazzi a "cocksucking faggot" last year. The actors, Oldman argued, should be allowed to say those things, because deep down, everyone is an awful racist homophobe:
"I don't know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we've all said those things," he said. "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."
Then, he went from hypothetical bullshit-spewing about race and hypocrisy to straight-up old-fashioned paranoid anti-Semitism:
"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."
Oldman apologized in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, arguing that his rhetoric was in fact a tribute to the Jewish people's manifold contributions to the industry. For good measure, he also lets us know he has a friends in the diaspora.
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.
There you have it: Gary Oldman loves Jewish people! His feelings on fucking useless cunts and people who say "nigger" apparently remain unchanged.
[Image via AP]