Popular Culture

Anti-Defamation League Calls the Gary Oldman Apology “Insufficient”


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is still peeved at Gary Oldman. The Call of Duty actor’s public attempts at a mea culpa, which include a seemingly heartfelt written apology and an emotional appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, have apparently done little to smooth things over.

On Monday, snippets of Oldman’s chat Playboy magazine made their way online, quickly sparking a debate over discrimination and hate speech in Hollywood. The conservative star, 56, championed himself as a crusader against political correctness and defended his on-screen contemporaries — Alec Baldwin and Mel Gibson, in particular — who have been publicly spurned in recent years for racist, homophobic and/or anti-Semitic rants.

“We’ve all said those things…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**king hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n**ger or that f**king Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy…I’m defending all the wrong people. I’m saying Mel’s all right, Alec’s a good guy.”

Oldman — who stars in the upcoming summer blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — added:

“…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…It’s dishonesty that frustrates me most. I can’t bear double standards.”

The ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center promptly launched a public attack against the screen veteran. Both organizations were especially angered by Gary’s controversial assertion that Hollywood “is a town that’s run by Jews.” Abraham H. Foxman, Director of the ADL, took Oldman to task for that comment, which he calls an aging stereotype that continues to contribute to anti-Semitic attitudes in America.

In an open letter to the ADL, published on Tuesday, Oldman said he “was deeply remorseful” for his remarks. Gary extended his apology during an appearance on Kimmel Wednesday, saying in part:

“I, from my heart, I am profoundly, profoundly sorry…I’m an a**hole…”

It’s all a case of too little, too late for the ADL. The organization issued a lengthy statement to Variety blasting Oldman’s “Sorry” letter as…well…sorry.

“At this point, we are not satisfied with what we have received. His apology is insufficient and not satisfactory. 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…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…Mr. Oldman needs to recognize that his words, not just as they were written, but as he uttered them, are deeply offensive. And he needs to be sensitive to the fact that other remarks for which he has yet to apologize — including his disparaging remarks about the Pope and about gay people – were also deeply troubling and hurtful to many…”

Well there…It sounds like Gary might need a new PR team and few celebrity defenders. Where’s that Mel Gibson when you need him?


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