Gary Oldman on ‘Kimmel’: ‘I’m an A-hole … I Should Know Better’

A visibly shaken Gary Oldman appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday and apologized profusely for making anti-Semitic remarks in an interview with Playboy magazine.

Oldman spoke haltingly at the start of his appearance, choosing his words carefully and sticking mostly to the script of the apology statement he issued late Tuesday to the Anti-Defamation League. But as he conversed with Kimmel — and as it became clear the audience was sympathetic, starting with the cheers and applause that greeted Oldman as he walked on stage — the British actor opened up to Kimmel.

“I’m a public figure. I should be an example and an inspiration, and I’m an A-hole. I’m 56. I should know better,” Oldman said.

In his interview in the current issue of Playboy, Oldman criticized what he deemed the hypocrisy of politically correctness in Hollywood. He defended actors Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin, both of whom have spurred public outrage for using epithets in public encounters.

On Wednesday, the ADL further criticized Oldman’s apology, saying it was insufficient and only reinforced that he harbors stereotypical beliefs about Jews.

Oldman’s appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was scheduled before the controversy erupted, as the actor is on the promotional tour for Fox’s “Dawn of Planet of the Apes,” which opens next month. In speaking to Kimmel, Oldman sought to convey his sincere surprise at the the storm stirred by his comments and his understanding as to why they were offensive to many.

SEE ALSO: Gary Oldman’s Lesson For Actors — Talk About the Movie!

“I said some things that were poorly considered,” Oldman told Kimmel. “Once I had seen it in print I could see that it was offensive … insensitive … pernicious … and ill informed. Words have meaning, they carry weight long after you’ve said them, and I don’t condone or excuse the words I used in any context. i just basically shouldn’t have used them in any context. I have deeply injured and wounded great many people.”

While Kimmel thanked Oldman for not canceling his appearance in the wake of the furor, Oldman thanked the latenight host for giving him a platform of apologize. “This gives me the opportunity to say to those people (who were offended) from the my heart I am profoundly, profoundly sorry and deeply apologetic.”

Oldman also noted that the questioning in the Playboy interview veered into subject areas that he was not equipped to address, given that he is an actor, not a social commentator. “I stepped out of my area of expertise and I just landed both feet in a hornet’s nest,” Oldman said.

Kimmel, who is no stranger to accusations of racism and insensitivity in his humor, lightened the mood by telling Oldman: “I’m so happy someone has to apologize on this show and it’s not me for once.”

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  1. Susan says:

    Are you kidding. He is not sorry. His handlers got to him and ordered him to apologize for expressing his virulent anti semitism since his income relies on working with Jews and gays and gay Jews. I bet his Publicist, Manager, Accountant, and Lawyers are all Jews who he tolerates because they do a good job and help him make money. I will Boycott Divest and Sanction him (see what I did there), but there are too few Jews to make a dent. I bet the day after he made this disingenuous apology (he really apologized for making his thoughts known and not for the content of his statements) he had dinner with David Geffen and Steven Spielberg. Hollywood if full of panderers and whores. I don’t see CGI monkey movies anyway so I don’t have to do much to avoid seeing his films. He rarely makes good movies like Sid and Nancy or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy anyway. He is in acting for the money and not the Art. Oh the genie is out of the bottle Mr. Oldman. Speaking of monkeys, I bet he is a big soccer fan and when in Europe loves going to soccer games, sitting in the fascist controlled sections and spiting at, make monkey chants at and throwing bananas at black players! Anti-semites usually don’t like blacks too much either. That segment on the brilliant Bryant Gumble’s Real Sports exposing the English, Italian and German racism at soccer games haunts and disturbs me even though I saw it weeks ago on HBO. I was shocked since I know nothing about soccer. Wow, the soccer officials and Teams allow this to go on without punishment! Its tacit approval. And its not an isolated incident – its every game! If you do not know what I am talking about – go to the HBO website and watch. Even a 53 y.o. former Brooklyn ADA like me who has seen decomposed bodies was shocked at what European soccer fans are up to. The Italians and the British seem to be the worst.

  2. Leslie Black says:

    I know what Gary Oldman is, he’s human just like the rest of us, and we ALL make mistakes, we all say stupid and/or inappropriate stuff at times it happens because nobody is perfect.

  3. From the man who uses the n-word, what can you expect. He should go to Costa Rica and rub tootsies with his buddy Mel. he’s a has been who gets second rate roles now.

  4. Lee says:

    I love Gary Oldman. He’s never slipped up before, it’s not like he’s a career f***k-up. It’s easy to forgive him. Everybody opens mouth and inserts foot once in a while. Plus, he threw “pernicious” out there. When was that last time you heard that word used – and used properly? Give the man a break.

  5. Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2863: Gary Oldman’s Apology on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” – Sincere or Insincere? – Body Language Tells

  6. Sal says:

    His worse performance yet.

    • Archie says:

      Well Mr.. Bodylanguage sucess .You state in your article that he is left-handed …but he is right -handed and always was …Fail !

  7. DC says:

    He really did nothing wrong, but now he has to effectively apologize and cover his ass. Obviously this got blown way out of proportion in the media and I’m sure a few threatening phone calls were made to Mr. Oldman: “You’ll never work again in this town!” and “This is terrible publicity for the movie! What the hell were you thinking?!”

    Unfortunately you can no longer speak your opinion to the public without having to worrying about damaging your career. Too bad we can’t all take a page out of The Dude’s book (The Big Lebowski) and just say, “Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man.” And then move on.

    Politicians do the exact same thing. They never say what they feel and actually believe, but rather form an opinion based on how it will protect and further their career.

  8. frankieleaks says:

    I don’t necessarily think that for example, drunken racist outbursts are a sign of suppressed or hidden racism, but no matter how drunk I’ve gotten (quite!) or how angry I get (tremendously!) there’s no racist or homophobic rhetoric waiting to tumble out like the bulging contents of a hoarder’s house. It’s kind of frustrating to have those around you think that you’re just a bad day away from a homophobic or anti-Semitic outburst.

    As long as everyone understands this is all about me.

  9. Raven says:

    wow.. he is a really good actor!

  10. Willilar80 says:

    Who is muzzling free speech. Muzzling free speech would have been Playboy choosing not to run the story because of the incendiary nature of his comments. Actually his speech is be heard about all across the country far more than had he not made such controversial statements.

    Very few people are bashing God… We are bashing hateful bigots such as yourself. You people who try to use their religious “beliefs” to impede upon the ACTUAL civil rights of other people. No one gives a crap if you believe in God… in fact most people respect it. What they dont respect is the dangerous hateful rhetoric you use to diminish other people in the name of something that is supposed to be beautiful and about spiritual upliftment. Not about hate and divisiveness.

    To easy to understand words. People find it in poor taste to use God as an excuse to preach hate.

  11. TONY says:

    And…, I’d rather so say HOW YOU REALLY FEEL than lie and bite your tongue.
    At least I will know who you are and your true feelings.

  12. Edgardo Rodriguez says:

    Is the James Franco and Seth Rogen movie gonna be slammed as hateful by people? No because its acceptable hate. That’s what Oldman was saying, double,standards.

  13. dave says:

    You are full of it – as is your transparent agenda. So you dont like “hollywood” – fine – go watch Mel’s latest flick. Enjoy. And I am sure you were mighty upset at his bigoted musings…Not.

    Do everyone a favor – rather than bore us with your John Birch viewpoint – go and listen to a repeat of last weeks Glenn Beck show. Perhaps you might really get off on that. Loser.

    • Lea DiCenso says:

      Seriously? I love Hollywood and movies/TV! What I don’t like is that we expect everyone to be “perfect” all the time. If they unfortunately “step out of line” ie: say something publicly- however the intent was- they will be publicly lambasted. In Oldman’s case the “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” scenario reflects today’s workplace – you are a good worker as long as you do what you’re told and don’t speak up. One remark to obliterate years of acting/working? I thought “Freedom of Speech” is something we cherish here in the U.S.. I’m not saying what was said was correct – it was stupid- but apparently we are becoming more and more intolerant of anyone who isn’t status quo or makes a mistake.

      • sammyglick says:

        Freedom of speech is in regards to GOVERNMENT censorship. It has NOTHING TO DO with people who say dumb things in public. Likewise, crying ‘freedom of speech’ when caught saying dumb things in public…doesn’t absolve one from taking RESPONSIBILITY for what you say in public.

  14. MJ says:

    Where is the apology to black people, gay people and women Oldman? What he said about Jews in Hollywood is disgusting but so is the stuff he says about other marginalized groups. I still dont think he (or rather his management and the studio that owns his new film) get it.

  15. fredy m Gutierrez says:

    Just another publicity stunt !!

  16. Whoever runs the celebrity Twitters with those fancy blue check marks should just issue apologies night and day for anything their client may have done once before, in the future, since their last apology, in case you missed their last apology, or in the case that someone still gives a shit.

  17. Ken says:

    Movie actors are commodities, hired by creatives, who in turn are hired by corporations to push product. As such, actors have a business responsibility to keep their mouths shut. This week’s latest celebrity foot-in-mouth/apology tour was all the more disturbing because it involved a highly talented and enormously respected figure – Gary Oldman. One would have expected a little more “tone” from him. But f-ups happen…and Mr. Oldman seemed stunned and shamed by all the negative publicity being heaped on him, and he seemed sincerely apologetic. I am still looking forward to DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – will attend on opening weekend if I can – and I thought Kimmel handled the interview with some class and gentle wit.

  18. mac says:

    Clearly he had a point he felt he wanted to make . However it sounds like he did it on impulse and he said the words he felt got his point across but didnt consider how other people would take them and take a very different meaning . Im not excusing what he said . But what i will say is this , it takes a lot of gaul to apologies and even more so in a public way . He looks shaken to the core id say he undstands the gravity of what he said and why it was wrong . When someone apologies unless they’ve murdered or something even more horrific like that then you accept the apology and get on with your life . He’s made an apology to the jewish community and to his fans and the public . It dosent change what he did but he’s trying to make it right .Lifes too damn short to hold grudges. He made a big mistake , he clearly knows he has , he’s said sorry – End of story – lets move on .

  19. dave says:

    Wash your dirty mouth out with soap you creep. He apologized because he was excusing the bigoted junk that Mel Gibson spew (and seems unable to stop spewing it seems). Too bad if that bpthers you chumpy.

  20. John Thiel says:

    Because he doesn’t represent idiotic, closet bigots like yourself and Mel Gibson.

  21. John Thiel says:

    It’s going to be hard to impossible to remove that foot from his mouth, but this is a good start.

    It was especially good that he addressed the fact that as a celebrity his comments were impactful, but as an actor they were far outside his area of expertise and he shouldn’t have said them in an interview.

  22. dave says:

    He backed down because it was the morally decent thing to do. That is obviosly something that escapes a bigot jerk like yourself.

  23. John Miller says:

    Wow! Oldman is in full meltdown mode, isn’t he?

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