Gary Oldman’s interview with Playboy has been dominating discussion on the web since it was published, with media coverage suggesting that he was defending Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant and Alec Baldwin’s use of homophobic slurs. In a statement to try to calm the controversy, Oldman’s manager said that he is not really defending hate speech.
“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,” Oldman is quoted as saying. “He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know?”
As for Baldwin, Oldman commented, “Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him.”
In a statement to Reuters, though, Oldman’s manager, Douglas Urbanski, called the notion that Oldman is defending Baldwin and Gibson is “preposterous,” adding, “Gary Oldman would not defend hate speech or any divisive speech. The piece lacked a kind of balance on that regard.”
Urbanski said that he was present for the interview and accused Playboy of cherry-picking. The magazine refuted that, though.
“Playboy magazine did not ‘cherry-pick’ the quotes making headlines,” Playboy stated. “That was done by media outlets covering the story. We encourage everyone to read his interview in its entirety and make up their own minds.”
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League did think that Oldman was defending Gibson’s infamous anti-Semitic tirade. Oldman “should know better than to repeat tired anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control of Hollywood,” the group said.
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