Oldman: Sorry, Jews Really Are 'Chosen People'

Actor had railed to 'Playboy' defending Mel Gibson's comments
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2014 8:35 AM CDT
This Jan. 4, 2014 file photo shows actor Gary Oldman speaking at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, Calif.   (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Gary Oldman has offered a predictable mea culpa for his obscene rant to Playboy, in which he defended the obscene (and racist/anti-gay) rants of Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin. "I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made ... were offensive to many Jewish people," Oldman said in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League obtained by Deadline. (Among them: "Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews.") The new tune he's singing: "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."

And he writes that he now sees how his comments could fuel the "furtherance of a false stereotype. Anything that contributes to this stereotype is unacceptable, including my own words on the matter." The ADL had condemned Oldman's remarks, saying they "irresponsibly feed into a classic anti-Semitic canard about supposed Jewish control of Hollywood and the film industry." In Oldman's letter, he said he just finished reading a book about Jews and Hollywood, and acknowledges that "our business, and my own career specifically, owes an enormous debt to that contribution." And while he wishes he could end his letter with "Shalom Aleichem" ("peace to you"), "perhaps today I lose the right to use that phrase, so I will wish you all peace." (Read more Gary Oldman stories.)

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