Gary Oldman Controversy: ADL Slams Actor’s ‘Irresponsible’ and ‘Anti-Semitic’ Remarks

Gary Oldman Racist Remarks
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Following published remarks by actor Gary Oldman, in which he defends Mel Gibson’s past anti-Semitic comments, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has said that Oldman, “should know better than to repeat tired anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of Hollywood.”

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,” Oldman said in an interview with Playboy.

The remarks came after the British actor cited what he believes is hypocrisy in Hollywood, that personalities like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can get away with politically incorrect humor, while others cannot.

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“Gary Oldman’s remarks irresponsibly feed into a classic anti-Semitic canard about supposed Jewish control of Hollywood and the film industry,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the ADL. “He should know better than to repeat and give credence to tired anti-Semitic tropes. Mel Gibson’s ostracization in Hollywood was not a matter of being ‘politically incorrect,’ as Mr. Oldman suggests, but of paying the consequences for outing himself as a bigot and a hater. It is disturbing that Mr. Oldman appears to have bought into Mr. Gibson’s warped and prejudiced world view.”

A 2013 ADL poll revealed that 24 percent of all Americans believe that “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” contributing to the stereotype.

UPDATE: Oldman has since issued an apology for his comments, which the ADL has deemed “insufficient.”

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  1. Richard Tucky says:

    I WANT MEL GIBSON BACK IN THIS WORLD (GETTING INTO THE GOOD FILMS OF HOLLYWOOD). I DO NOT CONSIDER ANYTHING CONDEMNS MEL GIBSON AT THIS TIME.

    • Gregg B says:

      Your comment says much. Really, I would like him back in this world also. We have too many people in this country, at this time, that want to “moderate” what people say to each other or about each other. At least what some people have to say anyway. We have the whole “politically correct” thing, then any number of minority groups claiming injured status if something even SOUNDS like an inflammatory comment (very sorry, English is laced with words that sound like words not so nice…). The message that really comes across from these people is “sit down and shut up if your view doesn’t match OUR orthodoxy”. It’s unprincipled. It’s just wrong. And yes Hollywood, it’s just plain un-American. This has always been a nation willing to explore new ideas, even if couched in burlap and barbed wire from time to time. When did we become so “refined” that our ego’s couldn’t manage a bruise or two along the way to becoming a greater place to be?

  2. We all make angry remarks…especially when angry/hurt/oppressed/persecuted/bullied by affirmative action/trying to attack nazified opiate drug prohibition laws/or just because we are white gentile males especially of the south….no groups immune…sorry

  3. Aaa sorry. I though that your reply was to me. But you still did not allow my link to appear. At least please delete my other comments too

  4. But what is it that you do not like about my essay? Aren’t you Jewish? You should appreciate what I say. It is a way to combat antisemits. I really don’t understand

  5. Lane says:

    It is the candid remarks that are always the most telling. While Mr Oldman has apologized, I believe that he and others like him will always harbor their core beliefs. Prejudice is prejudice and ultimately the truth comes out. He has spoken his truth and I will never have any respect for him, just as I no longer have respect for Mel Gibson,

  6. kath63304 says:

    Who gives a crap who runs Hollywood? Are they doing a good job? OK then, LEAVE THEM THE HELL ALONE! By the way I am not Jewish..I am Catholic..

  7. I’m surprised that Abraham Foxman bothered to respond. While the essence of what Gary Oldman said had a ring of truth – thank God, some people might say – his justification was based on someone else’s prejudice being worse than Mel Gibson’s. I also suspect that Mel Gibson regrets his spontaneous outburst, while Mr Oldman probably doesn’t.

  8. GW Berry says:

    Ive always heard that Jewish people were very good business people & very prudent. Is this stereotyping? Sounds more like a compliment to me!

  9. h.e. says:

    As ever, the first amendment protects citizen’s rights to say stupid things. It doesn’t protect them from the backlash from doing so.

  10. Eco AZ says:

    First Amendment baby. Leave the man alone.

  11. DRSR says:

    Jim are u purposely being nuts or just spewing up delusional lunacy. Ever heard of the Turks,JImmy? If not I have an Armenian friend whose grandfather witnessed the Armenian Genocide ..not a Jew in sight.

  12. DRSR says:

    Hey Jim you are proof that if you are going to lie ,lie big.Either that or you are a deranged.

  13. Nathan Springstead says:

    DON’T EVER apologize for telling it how it is! EVER! Truth hurts like hell. As it should.

  14. DRSR says:

    Frank: #1 FACT: BIll Maher is half Irish and doesn’t follow Judaism. #2 Are saying that Gibson never made the Jew hatred to that cop and others like Winona Ryder who is Jewish ..calling her an oven dodger.His dad was a leader of virulent anti semitic Christian church and I am sure taught baby Mel his version of Christianity. #3Yes others went to the NAzi death camps ,but ALL were given preferable treatment over Jews. THe Jews were systematically persecuted and killed from the moment Hitler came to power, nobody else went through that to that extreme. Last but not least ROMANS KILLED CHRIST. Your Italian /Roman ancestors conquered most of the known world and were right there carrying out their crucifixions routinely so go do your so sanctimonious act elsewhere as you are only different in your post from the other haters by your faux religious rhetoric. You sympathize and excuse Gibson and you still blame the Jews for killing of Christ

  15. David says:

    Is it still considered a “stereotype” if it is true? I will never understand why a handful of Jews pretend to represent the rest of us in belittling and minimizing our role in creating America. Screw them, I’m Jewish and I am PROUD that we created Hollywood (and Hollyweird).

  16. Joyce Tyler says:

    Wow, so much hate expressed here. It’s chilling. Like flipping through the channels and landing on Fox News by mistake

    • DRSR says:

      HEy Joyce, Fox News is NOT anti semitic ,but the opposite.It is conservative and extremely civil ,not racist or anti semitic in anyway at all. You are stating a stupid a** generality that you haven’t taken the time to even validate on your own. If anything haters such as own here can be found on mostly alternative extreme left or right internet sites. Not on Fox News.

  17. Joyce Tyler says:

    YMCA, Maher is Irish.

  18. Dirk says:

    I woke up. Perhaps you ought to as well. The world isn’t all peaches and cream. I am not taking away your rights like others.

  19. DavidVazquez says:

    Wow, so you’re surrendering your own judgment to someone else? You’re not capable of determining that something is anti-Jewish? I guess that means that if you’d been in Germany in 1938, you would not have objected to what was going on, because, after all, you’re not Jewish. My response is.. huh??

  20. k9base says:

    its really more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$4them

  21. I don’t care what Religion anyone professes to be. I’m just so sick of ALL of them bickering and fighting all over the World!

    • DRSR says:

      Phyllis ,if it only was merely about religion,it would be okay. Hitler made even “quarter” Jews, all NON Practicing and even converted Jews wear a Yellow Star. The same mentality of hatred of Jew still exists.

  22. Craig says:

    The point he was making was that certain people are allowed to say certain things without people getting pissed. I bet if Bill Maher would have said this exact statement people would not be flipping out over it. People getting up in arms over this is kind of making his point

  23. Paramount Employee says:

    Wow. They really did just clip a half-dozen comments.

    I started to write how much I disliked Jersey Boys, but when I got to the “J” a warning came up not to proceed further.

  24. Abe Foxman & the ADL, ha. It figures that that anti-Christian bigot would have something to say about Gary Oldman’s Playboy interview, not that anyone of import cares.

    —> Here’s a clue Abe, you’re old news and the ‘anti-semite card’ doesn’t play anymore. just like the ‘race card’, it’s sooooo 20th century. So get over yourself bud. <—

  25. Tyrant Boss says:

    Just some facts
    Head of Disney – Robert Iger (Jewish)
    Head of Paramount – Brad Grey (Jewish)
    Head of Warner Brothers Pictures – Kevin Tsujihara (Not Jewish)
    But…Head of Warner Brothers Television – Bruce Rosenblum (Jewish)
    Founders of Miramax pictures – Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Both Jewish)
    President of MGM Studios – Jonathan Glickman (Jewish)
    … Do I really need to go on?

    Oldman is correct….Jews are in charge of virtually every major studio in Hollywood, hence…they run Hollywood.

    • nealhugh says:

      so what…

    • Lynne Sands says:

      So? If these are the most creative and able people. more power to them. Does anyone honestly think that the hardheaded, bottom-line-oriented stockholders care at all where the studio bosses worship? Do they think studio execs would ignore talented people to hire someone less talented because they happen to be of the same religion?
      Not credible, if you ask me.
      And, by the way, can we get a bit more civil here? Profane arguments are automatic losers, since their authors can’t frame the discussion in more intelligent, acceptable ways.
      That includes,Mel Gibson, Gary Oldman, Alec Baldwin, Bill Maher and many others too numerous to mention. All of you, Behave!

      • David says:

        That is what he is saying! That we Jews should stop pretending that we don’t contribute to American society. I will never understand it. And I don’t understand you, Lynne.

  26. Charles K. says:

    Gary Oldman is now my hero. It is because I am Jewish. Blacklists for thought and speech were the first step towards the Holocaust.

    • DRSR says:

      Charles so were negative generalities about Jews that became worse until they were believed and then eventually acted upon. Don’t be a cowering Jewish person,show some guts and fight it and not acquiesce to it. The Jew haters like and expect that. Any racist and/or religious/ethnic slur should be called out.

  27. bencook2 says:

    No.. but you find your hyperbole out of place and not helpful.

  28. Paramount Employee says:

    Yesterday my three year old was sent home from preschool after asking for his “juice box.” The teachers said, “we don’t accept any kind of anti-semitism here.”

  29. EricFost says:

    Well, to be fair, who runs the top movie studios in Hollywood? I think ALL of them are owned by Jews. That is certainly an over-representation of the percentage of Jews in the overall population. What exactly is irresponsible? These days, political correctness trumps all. Truth be damned…

  30. theworldneedslove says:

    As a devout Christian, I am a friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. I pray for the shalom of Israel, in every sense of the word. However, that does not mean that I agree with individual Jews ( or any other individual), who discriminate against others with whom they disagree, yet allows others, of whom they approve, to get away with the same thing. Unfortunately, there are a huge number of people who identify as Christians, who hate the Jew “because they killed our LORD”. Jesus was, is, and always will be a Jew. Jews are “the apple of My (God’s) eye”, according to the Old Testament. Believers have been “grafted in” to the vine (Israel), according to the New Testament, and are now equal to Jews as God’s chosen people. (If you are Jewish, and are still reading this post, I invite you to read the book of Isaiah, especially the last half. In it, you will see that God accepts the non-Jew who believes in Him, and entitles them to all the blessings of the Jew. It is an amazing book). Having said all of the above, I also remind you that “His mercy endures forever”. When a person sins, if he repents and asks God’s forgiveness, God forgives. And he commands us to forgive. In fact, His Word says if we will not forgive, he will not forgive us. I agree with many others, that Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin, have been unforgiven long enough. He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    • Elroy says:

      Oh GOD like the world needs more religious freaks. Hopefully you forgive me for judging you because I don’t really care what religious freaks think.

    • Bill Thompson says:

      All of the religions in the world are fairy tales. You are a nut if you believe any of it.

      Did Santa Claus deliver two of every animal species from the around the world to Noah?

      It’s all fiction written by the very small number of men who could read and write.

  31. What happened to “Freedom of Speech”?!

    • Craig says:

      The point he was making was that certain people are allowed to say certain things without people getting pissed. I bet if Bill Maher would have said this exact statement people would not be flipping out over it. People getting up in arms over this is kind of making his point.

  32. David says:

    ADL, if it’s true, it’s true. Why is it a bad thing? You should be proud Jewish people have accomplished so much.

  33. Joyce Tyler says:

    Why has this issue become whether or not Hollywood is run by Jews? Don’t non-Jews find Mel Gibson’s anti-Jewish, pro-Nazi, racist rants disturbing?

  34. Bill Wilson says:

    Who do we believe – the ADL or our own lying eyes?

  35. Brad says:

    When Chuck Norris crosses a river, Chuck Norris doesn’t get wet… the river gets Chuck Norris.

    • Diane says:

      I think its obvious!…. And I’m a Fan of Jewish people and love their contribution to art,history,science.

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