After a controversial interview with Playboy magazine, Gary Oldman not only released an apology to the Anti-Defamation League for his comments on Wednesday, he also spoke about it on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
"I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy interview were offensive to many Jewish people," Oldman wrote in his apology to the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center.
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In the article, which Oldman gave to promote his new film Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the 56-year-old Oscar-nominee made a number of comments that have come under fire for being disparaging to the Jewish community.
Goldman had defended actors Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin for their infamous outbursts, saying that people need to "take a f**king joke. Get over it."
He also said that Gibson had been ostracized from Hollywood because of his alleged anti-Semitic comments in the past. "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."
Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the ADL, said in a statement that, "Gary Oldman's remarks irresponsibly feed into a classic anti-Semitic canard about supposed Jewish control of Hollywood and the film industry."
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Showing up on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, the actor said with deep breath, "I said some things that were poorly considered, and once I had seen it in print, I could see that it was offensive, insensitive, pernicious, and ill-informed,” he said. “You know, words have meaning. They carry weight and they carry on long after you've said them and I don’t condone or excuse the words I used, well, in any context. I just basically shouldn’t have used them in any context. But I did, and I have deeply injured and wounded a great many people."
Here is Oldman's apology to the ADL in its entirety, below (via Deadline).
Dear Gentlemen of the ADL,
I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview were offensive to many Jewish people. Upon reading my comments in print—I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype. 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.
I hope you will know that this apology is heartfelt, genuine, and that I have an enormous personal affinity for the Jewish people in general, and those specifically in my life. The Jewish People, persecuted thorough the ages, are the first to hear God's voice, and surely are the chosen people.
I would like to sign off with "Shalom Aleichem"—but under the circumstances, perhaps today I lose the right to use that phrase, so I will wish you all peace.
– Gary Oldman
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