(JTA) — Actor Gary Oldman apologized for defending Mel Gibson’s 2006 drunken anti-Semitic rant and for saying that Jews run Hollywood.
In an open letter to the Anti-Defamation League sent late Tuesday, and published online by Deadline.com, Oldman wrote: “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.”
“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,” he added.
The ADL in a statement issued earlier on Tuesday condemned Oldman for his remarks, saying he “should know better than to repeat tired anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of Hollywood.”
In an interview with Playboy magazine, Oldman said of Gibson, “He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. … The policeman who arrested him never used the word n***** or that f***ing Jew?”
Gibson had said during the rant that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Oldman added, “So they persecute. 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 — and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, ‘That f***ing kraut’ or ‘F*** those Germans,’ whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct.”
He did not apologize in the letter to other groups he insulted during the interview, including gays and African Americans.