COMMENTARY | Actor Gary Oldman gave an epic, obscenity laced rant in a recent Playboy interview in which he condemned that politically correct hypocrisy of Hollywood. Then he rather proved his own point by getting into trouble himself.
His point was that actors like Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin could be destroyed by saying the same sorts of ill-considered things that other people, like Bill Maher, get away with constantly was certainly valid. But then he had to say this:
“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?”
Thus Oldman careened into Mel Gibson territory, fetching him condemnation from the Anti Defamation League. In turn, Oldman is being forced to go on bended knee and issue an apology.
“Dear Gentlemen of the ADL:
“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. 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-Gary Oldman.”
Oldman’s words may have been taken out of context, so he may yet salvage a thus far brilliant career. Being politically incorrect is one thing. The appearance of being rude is quite another. At least he did not say, so far as is known, that Barack Obama is a terrible president and George W. Bush was a pretty good one. That would have been a career ending thing to say.