Gary Oldman has blasted Hollywood for what he perceives as a double standard — asserting that Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can get away with politically incorrect humor while others like Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin cannot.
The profanity-laced statements are included in an interview with the July-August issue of Playboy. The most explosive part of the interview includes attacks on Maher, Stewart and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, following his declaration that political correctness is “crap.”
“Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a c*** — and I’ll go one better, a f****** useless c*** — I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, ‘I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.’ He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, ‘You fag’? I don’t get it.”
Oldman, star of such films as “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy, also asserted that the culture in Hollywood during the past awards season was such that “if you didn’t vote for ’12 Years a Slave,’ you were a racist. You have to be very careful about what you say.”
He also expressed sympathy for Gibson, who declared in 2006 while being arrested that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Gibson later apologized for the remarks.
“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 said. “He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know?”
“I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things,” the actor told Playboy during the interview, which began with a discussion of Oldman’s role in “Dawn of Planet of the Apes.”
“We’re all f****** hypocrites,” he added. “That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n***** or that f****** Jew?”
“I’m being brutally honest here,” Oldman said. “It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy.”
Oldman also defended Baldwin’s use of homophobic language: “Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute.”
UPDATE: Douglas Urbanski, Oldman’s manager and producing partner, asserted in an email that Oldman is not a bigot.
“I have looked at the Playboy interview a few times now—in fact I was in the room during the entire 8 or 9 hours. I am unaware—as I have seen reported–of Gary Oldman defending any anti-Semitic remarks in the interview, or, for that matter, anyplace! He would not do so, and in fact he finds any kind of bigotry, homophobia, anti-Semitism, racism or sexism unacceptable and disgraceful. Period.”
“If you read the Playboy piece correctly and entirely, and in context, it is the hypocrisy of political correctness that Gary is addressing, nothing else. 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. If you read the thru line of that segment closely, it is clear that it has only to do with Political Correctness and is in no way a defense of anti-Semitism. Political Correctness is a thing that drives Gary and many many others crazy!—goodness, this theme he addressed in his film ‘Nil By Mouth,’ in 1997!”
“In this interview Gary is doing what many intelligent people do: he is illustrating the absurd by being absurd.”
SECOND UPDATE: Oldman has since issued an apology for his comments, which the Anti-Defamation League has deemed “insufficient.”