I almost feel sorry for the actor Gary Oldman, who came out in a Playboy interview in defense of Mel Gibson and Alex Baldwin for making remarks that offended millions of people.
Oldman, who I, frankly, had never heard of before this, is quoted saying Baldwin is “a good guy,” despite having made an anti-gay slur during a confrontation. Oldman also reportedly said Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant during a 2006 arrest for drunk driving, was no big deal.
This Oldman really put both feet in it, when he said “political correctness” had ensnared the two actors.
He said that Gibson merely “got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things.”
No, we haven’t.
I have never said those things. I have never even considered saying those things. I could never get drunk enough to conceive of saying those things. That’s because those things are not swirling around in my brain like poison, as they clearly are in Gibson’s. I would even venture to guess that none of my friends or family members have or would ever say those things, for the same reason.
It is my contention that no one says those kinds of things unless those kinds of things are already in their heads.
I don’t believe alcohol or illegal drug consumption can be proven to create unbidden racist thoughts.
So, if this Oldman finds himself thinking and saying things like “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” and other ridiculous, anti-Semitic stuff like Gibson did during his tirade, then he’s a Mel Gibson bigot. A Gibgot. A Melcist.
As if to further illustrate this point, Oldman used an old standby anti-Semitic fallback in his defense of the indefensible.
“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,” Oldman reportedly said in the interview.
None of this is sitting well with some people, like Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, who said as much publicly.
“Gary Oldman wants Jews to ‘get over’ what Mel Gibson said. But what Gibson said, was the slogan that Adolf Hitler used to murder six million Jews,” Hier is quoted saying in a statement. “(Oldman’s) comment that Hollywood is a town ‘run by Jews’ has a very familiar sinister ring to it that is the anthem of bigots and anti-Semites everywhere. That has nothing to do with political correctness.”
Oldman’s longtime manager, in full damage-control-mode, evidently said in an email to The Associated Press that his client was not defending the actors in question, despite Oldman’s own comment in the article that that’s exactly what he was doing.
“It simply cannot be read any other way, and to put it any other way is simply cherry picking something, stating it inaccurately, and creating news where there is none,” the manager said.
I’m not sure in what context saying that everyone devolves into anti-Semitic rants once in a while, would not sound exactly like this does. How can one say that and mean something different than it sounds like it means?
Oldman, who’s evidently in the upcoming “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which out this month, is also in that “town that’s run by Jews,” if he believes his own rhetoric, and his new film’s distributor is refusing to comment on the scandal and a firm he does commercials for is already distancing themselves from his remarks.
To paraphrase one-time presidential candidate, former Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Oldman is no Charlton Heston, and I have no need to go see his film.
So, either Mr. Oldman miscalculated the efficacy of the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, or he’s not the brightest light on Hollywood Boulevard.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here