Gary Oldman issues apology to Jewish community following controversial interview

Oldman defended fellow actor Mel Gibson and claimed Hollywood is "run by Jews"

Gary Oldman has apologised to the Jewish community after comments made in a controversial interview appeared to show him condemning anti-semitism.

Oldman said that he believes Mel Gibson was treated unfairly after making anti-semitic remarks in 2006 and that Hollywood is a “town run by Jews.” He was subsequently criticised by the Anti-Defamation League, who accused the actor of “irresponsibly feeding into a classic anti-semitic canard about supposed Jewish control of Hollywood and the film industry.”

Issuing his apology to the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Weisenthal Centre, 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.”

“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.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Oldman, who has appeared in films such as The Dark Knight Rises and Sid & Nancy, also said he believes that the liberal nature of Hollywood affects award season and that voters were scared not to back 12 Years A Slave at this year’s Academy Awards for fear of seeming racist.