By Ross von Metzke
Originally published on Advocate.com June 25 2014 2:42 PM ET
Gary Oldman says he’s sorry for an interview he gave to Playboy magazine in which he defended drunken anti-Semitic rants made by Mel Gibson. What he left out his apology, though, was any mention of his defense of Alec Baldwin, who went on a tirade against a photographer and reportedly called him a “cocksucking fag” (Baldwin denied using the latter word, claiming he said “fathead”).
In the interview, Oscar-nominated actor Oldman was critical of the “political correctness” that followed the rants made by Gibson and Baldwin, suggesting that people need to learn how to take a joke.
According to the Associated Press, Oldman later asked the interviewer to “edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.”
In today’s apology, 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.”
But his apology made no mention of LGBT people or his defense of Baldwin.
On Tuesday, Oldman’s manager Douglas Urbanski attempted to explain the interview, saying Oldman does not approve of bigotry and “is doing what many intelligent people do. He is illustrating the absurd by being absurd.”
Oldman has had a varied career, with roles in the past few years in two popular franchises — Batman’s cohort Commissioner Gordon in the Dark Knight movies and the wizard Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films. Earlier in his career, his notable roles included three real-life personages — assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, punk rocker Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy, and gay playwright Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears.