Gary Oldman took Hollywood to task in a contentious Playboy interview on Monday, now his manager Douglas Urbanski says the star’s controversial comments were taken out of context.
“Gary does not blast ‘liberal Hollywood’ — the word liberal is not used by him, and I don’t think it appears in the story in question! Nor does Gary anyplace in the piece (or out of it) defend Mel Gibson or Alec Baldwin,” Urbanski says in a statement obtained by TheWrap.
“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. In this interview Gary is doing what many intelligent people do: he is illustrating the absurd by being absurd.”
Intelligent or not, critics say Oldman empathized with Baldwin and Gibson, which raised eyebrows and drew a harsh denouncement from the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham H. Foxman.
“He should know better than to repeat and give credence to tired anti-Semitic tropes,” Foxman said.
“[Mel] got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites,” Oldman told the magazine. Still, Urbanski insists his client was not defending Gibson.
“[Gary] finds any kind of bigotry, homophobia, anti-semitism, racism or sexism unacceptable and disgraceful. Period,” the manager said.
Not everyone agrees. L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy James Mee, Gibson’s arresting officer in 2006, has objected to Oldman’s assertion. He tells TMZ, “I’m Jewish and why would I say that to discredit my own religious makeup?”
In the interview, Oldman also went on to allege that comedians Bill Maher and Jon Stewart would be unfairly granted a free pass if they ever publicly called a woman the C-word.
“Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a cunt-and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless cunt-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,” Oldman explained.
Below is a copy of the statement issued by Oldman’s manager, Douglas Urbanski in its entirety.
Gary Oldman and I have been manager and producing partner for years, entering into our third decade together in fact.
I wanted to personally respond in more detail, and also perhaps to the misleading headlines that have popped up in one or two places. By that I mean that Gary does not blast “liberal Hollywood”–the word liberal is not used by him, and I don’t think it appears in the story in question!
Nor does Gary anyplace in the piece (or out of it) defend Mel Gibson or Alec Baldwin.
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 Award Winning 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.
As mentioned above, this interview took place over about 9 hours and obviously they cannot print the entire 9 hours–so by its nature, the thing is selectively crafted by the writer and publication to give the impression of a certain sort of narrative. Imagine for a moment, taking a 9 hour film, and cutting it to about 15 minutes–for that is what it would take to read aloud each version of the interview. Sadly missing are so many many things that were not selected to be in the piece.
That said, I find the piece notable, for what was omitted. Some things omitted would have perhaps given more nuance and fullness to the piece as a whole.
For example, and importantly, Playboy asked Oldman about Gay Marriage. Oldman responds in the strongest possible way that he is in support of Gay Marriage and all Homosexual equal rights. This exchange, curiously, is omitted from the piece. As it happens, it is a topic Gary feels strongly about.
On the topic of Mel Gibson, Gary specifically does not “defend” him or anti-Semitism.
Noteworthy, however, is that other artists–specifically Robert Downey Jr. and Jodie Foster–have loudly defended Mel Gibson spanning the past few years. A few clicks on your computer will show you what they had to say.
Don’t get me wrong–I think it is in many ways a good piece–articulate, educated, well read, passionate, philosophical even, and deeply honest. And I found his attitudes as an artist and parent, and his work ethic, first class and deeply professional. These are all hallmarks consistent with how Gary has lived his life and career, which has been an open book. I found it the sort of outspoken piece that perhaps a younger Kirk Douglas may have given in a different era, perhaps when he was fighting the blacklist even (its own version of political correctness), minus the bad words of course!