EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Gary Oldman has sent an explanation to the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Weisenthal Center, in response to the ADL’s charge he propagated anti-Semitic stereotypes in his Playboy Interview. He’s the response:
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.
EARLIER: As one who has been fortunate enough to have done a couple dozen Playboy Interviews of stars and directors, I reflexively cringed this morning as I watch the knee-jerk condemnations of Gary Oldman because of excerpts from a Playboy Interview he did to promote Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Today, I’ve got my younger staffers wondering and speculating if Fox will stifle Oldman (who is more quiet and thoughtful than the characters he plays onscreen) from promoting the movie. I laugh and only partly because he’s the only internationally recognizable actor in the movie, unless Fox wants to unleash a phalanx of actors dressed in ape costumes for Kimmel, Fallon and Conan.