Interview: ADL Head Says Gary Oldman’s Apology Reinforces Anti-Semitism

Interview: ADL Head Says Gary Oldman's

Anti-Defamation League head Abraham Foxman said he doesn’t buy Gary Oldman’s apology, claiming his statement Wednesday reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes.

“I think he feels bad about what he said, but the way he explains it underlines why he said what he said,” Foxman told Variety. “I’d like to see a little more introspection, a little more understanding and a little more education rather than a statement that looks like a PR move.”

The Oscar-nominated actor is in hot water over a recent Playboy interview in which he said that Mel Gibson’s career had cooled off because he worked “in a town that’s run by Jews” and “he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him.” Oldman was arguing that comedians get away with making politically incorrect jokes, but that Gibson and Alec Baldwin suffer far graver consequences for remarks that religious and minority groups find offensive.

Gibson and Baldwin have been criticized for using epithets that are anti-Jewish and anti-gay, respectively.

On Tuesday, Oldman apologized for his remarks in an open letter to the ADL.

“I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype,” Oldman said in a statement. “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.”

Foxman said that Oldman’s decision to mention the impact that Jewish artists and business people have had on the film industry in terms of their religious affiliation perpetrates the deleterious stereotype that they control the media business.

“The issue is not that there are Jews in Hollywood,” said Foxman. “Of course there are, but they don’t act as Jews. They’re producers, directors, actors and financial people who happen to be Jewish. It just continue this myth of Jewish control and this concept that they all get together at Katz’s Deli and decide what Hollywood’s message should be.”

Foxman said that Oldman’s remarks about Baldwin and comment, “fuck the Pope” (which appears to have been meant in jest), showed he suffered from other prejudices.

“He’s got homophobia problems, he’s got Catholic problems,” Foxman said. “He’s got a problem seeing people in stereotypical terms.”

Douglas Urbanski, Oldman’s manager and producing partner, released a statement earlier this week blasting the media for taking the actor’s comments out of context and painting him as a bigot. In an email to Variety, he hit back at Foxman’s claims that Oldman is homophobic and anti-Catholic.

“I am a hardcore Catholic and also his best friend,” Urbanski wrote. “In the 9 hours of the interview, Gary endorsed gay marriage — that was omitted from the piece.”

“On the topic of Mel Gibson, Gary specifically does not ‘defend’ him or anti-Semitism,” he added. “Noteworthy, however, is that other artists — specifically Robert Downey Jr. and Jodie Foster — have loudly defended Mel Gibson spanning the past few years.”

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  1. Mr10man says:

    I have never liked Gary Oldman as an actor. I’ve enjoyed some of his roles but I can take him or leave him. I won’t go to a movie because he is in it like I would if Pacino, Denzel, or Streep were in it. With that said, I don’t think his remarks were offensive in the least. He said it like it was. He compared how some people get a pass on saying certain things while others don’t. He also said that Gibson was biting the hand that feeds him. People are creating an issue where there is none.

  2. Richard Thomas says:

    No way!!
    Some of my best friends are Jewish.We even have a cat that is Jewish.Nadine Slutinski..
    I grew up in a section of Roxbury that had the fiercest, diehard, no I won’t leave, strongest, take no shit people I have ever had the pleasure of going to the store for! I heard more than one story about the tattoos too.
    Do I qualify now?
    NO. OK. Thanks any way.

  3. Jimmi Shrode says:

    Which is why I crossed Dawn of the POTA off my to see list. Too bad, I heard it is really good. It should be noted that the british have always been very Anti-Semetic. Memebers of the Royal Family had supported Mr. Hitler before he had bombed the hell out of England.

  4. Susan says:

    And it shocks whom that a Brit is an anti-semite? Even the British Jews like Mike Leigh and Miriam Margolys are self hating and support the anti-Israel new version of traditional anti-semitism called boycott,and divest from Israel. Since Oldman and his bosom buddy and fellow anti-semite Mel Gibson think that Jews run the world, I would like to join the worldwide Jewish conspiracy – I am affronted that I have not been invited previously. I’m free except for my job as a lawyer – all my bar and bat mitzvahs are done, I nominate myself to run Great Britain. Although it only has about 250,000 Jews since most British Jews like actor David Suchet have converted to Christianity or raised their kids as Christians, that is enough folks to conspire with me and help me run the country. I’ll personally run the British motion picture industry, I promise Mr. Oldman. Mr. Oldman, it must sicken you that there are more Jews living within your residential zip code in or near LA than there are in all of Britain. Our foul Jewish smell must contaminate your pure Anglo Saxon air. Well, if running Great Briton becomes too much for me, I can always run Hungry instead. Hungarians have new Nazi powers and blame all their economic, social and everything woes on Jews, but with only about 5,000 Jews in the entire nation, it should be easier to contact my co-conspirators and run the place. I’m not too good at math,I know Mr. Oldman, most of my fellow Jews sit in counting houses bent over counting English money like Dickens showed, but I’ll give it my best try Mr. Oldman and Mr. Gibson. Mr. Oldman, if you get a chance to see the BBC adaptation of The Way We Live Now, you will be cheered.. David Suchet plays your idea of a Jew perfectly – Melmotte is vulgar, physically repellent, loud and pushy,,one of the most anti-semetic figure in literary history – and we are talking Anthony Trollope so that is saying something.. Suchet’s performance, just think – a convert to your religion – plays the part with the brio only the most self hating Jew could envision. Quite the performance! I would warm the cockles of your empty chest where your heart would normally be.

  5. Stupid. While it’s true that “these people who run everything just happen to be Jews,” their religion is still a part of them, and shit talking that religion is going to piss them off, and what happens when the people who run everything are all pissed off at you?

  6. Nick says:

    I personally know eight people who work in the Hollywood industry, and they all confirm that it is a Jewish dominated business. If you want to succeed in Hollywood, you need Jewish friends. It is a fact!

    There is nothing nefarious going on here, the Jewish American community built Hollywood. They were the pioneers who started it all, so I don’t see anything wrong with them dominating an industry they started. Furthermore, it is already starting to change. I don’t know if anyone has noticed but Los Angeles and Hollywood are not what they use to be. The industry is dispersing all over the world and as it does the Jewish players become less important.

    However, let us be honest and not persecute Oldman for speaking the truth. It is not a stereotype to say the Jews run Hollywood, it is a fact. To deny it makes you a liar, and one not to be trusted.

    In any industry controlled by one group, there will always be some nepotism. It is human nature. However, when the nepotism is blatant and extremely common place, that is when people get resentful. That is something to keep in mind with regards to Hollywood.

    I also do not blame Jews for black balling someone who bad mouths them. If I owned a business and I heard about one of my business partners talking smack about my peeps, I would be upset. Furthermore, if that smack talk was false or baseless I would use my influence to give him grief. Again, it is human nature.

    • well put Nick. Jews make up a large contingent of Hollywood and always have, that’s a fact. From Sam Goldwyn onwards. I don’t think they are pushing a Jewish agenda as has been suggested, in fact Jewish-themed films are surprisingly few and far between. Gary Oldman can’t seemingly win with an apology, so he shouldn’t bother. IT’s obvious what he meant by ‘Mel biting the hand that feeds’. Abraham Foxman seems to get the wrong perception of what Gentiles think when he paints a picture of Jews gathering in delis, I would say that the likes of Spielberg, Allen, Coen Brothers, JJ Abrams, even the Zucker brothers haven’t got in the industry due to their ethnicity, rather their talent. Anyway I digress.

  7. Pat Kelley says:

    What I don’t understand is how the recognition of how the Jewish culture of hard work, honoring contracts, and adherence to principles made Hollywood a success is somehow non-PC. Jews should be proud of how their steadfast dedication to the entertainment industry has created such a huge economic and cultural impact.

    Most anti-Semitism is absurd at its core, rising from jealousy over Jewish ingenuity in creating financial empires. The rest is name-calling at a pre-adolescent level. If other cultures adopted the Jewish perspective, the global market would be far more successful and fair.

    Jews should drop the paranoia and embrace the acknowledgement of their tremendous talent for making the most out of a free market. Study Donald Trump’s attitude for guidance. Trump takes criticism of his brutal, in-your-face business tactics as a form of praise (however grudging), instead of whining about how mean people are. Respect is earned, not granted, but it can be lost by playing the victim when you’re actually a winner.

  8. WhatDifferenceDoesItMake says:

    And that’s why you don’t apologize for speaking the truth.

  9. Mike says:

    I can never figure out how these bigoted conservatives can be so dense.

    Let’s say the urban myth of “Jews and Hollywood” were true, to play by their (il)logic. Well, then, since those Jewish “job-creators” have “built it,” providing an industry by which Mel Gibson, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have benefited even more than most, shouldn’t they be celebrated. Aren’t they American Winners? These actors sound like a bunch of Occupy types, knee-jerking against The Man. Don’t they? So, it really IS the non-Christian thing, not the money thing, right, you twaffles?

    “I can’t say Nancy Pelosi is a [Jesus!]” Of course you can, Gary. Um, you just did. And there was no Liberal standing on your, um, neck. It’s the saying and getting away with others not considering you’re an ass at the same time that you have a problem with. That ain’t the way speech works. You can say what you want, and I can say what I want about what crap you just said. That’s the deal, you whiner.

    But, come to think of it, why would you say, “Nancy Pelosi is a [Jesus!],” when that expression you used was made for Kim Kardashian, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin? Is Nancy Pelosi non-Christian?

    Gary Oldman. He wasn’t born here, was he?

    • joedsavage says:

      News flash–Jewish people have a stronghold in Hollywood. So? People act like it,”s shocking or bad or if someone states it as fact the politically correct police idiots jump up and down like it”s not true. Pathetic.

  10. Susan says:

    His apology is sincere? LOL. You have got to be kidding. His Jewish handlers got to him – publicists, agents, managers, lawyers, accountants – and made him apologize even though he is a virulent anti-semite. Gary, the genie is out of the bottle, You hate Jews and we know it,You like Jewish money money and work as your protectors, but your nose goes up when you think of who you have to deal with. Given the anti-semitsim expressed below, it won’t hurt your career and probably will help it in Europe in particular where Jew hatred knows no bounds. Mr. Foxman, it is good your retiring if you can swallow your pride and say you accept this ridiculous apology and say it is genuine you have no integrity and are a lap dog for anti-semites.

    • Josh says:

      I work in the entertainment industry. It is unequivocally run by Jews. Why is that a big deal, I mean, unless you have something against Jews? Truth doesn’t become less true because it gets your panties in a ruffle.

  11. Gombolo says:

    Everybody is racist!

  12. MJ says:

    I’m sorry but even ADL misses some very vital red flags on this guy. He says that everybody has used the N word. Really?? And then he implies that a black film and its cast only awards because of white guilt. Not because they were talented. Not because they built a great film. He couldnt just say he didnt like the film himself? He had to claim that people were coerced into voting for the film? Isnt the ballot secret anyway, why wouldnt they just publicly claim to have voted for a black film and then vote for whatever they wish?

    And then there are the comments regarding women. You can actually feel his glee when he gets to use the C word on a woman……but only just to illustrate a point you know. Its not like he enjoyed that at all *cough*.

    • Jay says:

      Maybe I’m too cynical, but Gary’s ‘apology’ came off as a sarcastic non-pology.
      I don’t know why people like Oldman get bent out of shape when they are asked to not use dehumanizing terms for people, people who have to deal with some pretty horrible things as a result of those attitudes, especially when taken to extreme. Why perpetuate it? It’s not a “politically-correct” issue, it’s just a not-being-an-ass issue. “But, other people do it!” is not a convincing argument, sorry Gary. Grow up.

  13. Touree says:

    Who cares if Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic? He’s repeatedly said what he thought, and has and will continue to pay the price for that. He’s an ignorant fool.

    People should be FAR more outraged that he was driving piss drunk on the PCJ near beaches families frequent. He should have been charged with attempted murder.

  14. Courtney says:

    “On the topic of Mel Gibson, Gary specifically does not ‘defend’ him or anti-Semitism,” he added. “Noteworthy, however, is that other artists — specifically Robert Downey Jr. and Jodie Foster — have loudly defended Mel Gibson spanning the past few years.”
    I read this as, “LOOK AT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING OK LEAVE MY FRIEND ALONE.” As if RDJ and Jodie Foster being jackasses about Mel Gibson somehow diffuses the situation…

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