We liked you, Gary Oldman. We really did.
Don’t you know, as the personification of Sirius Black — the closest thing Harry Potter had to real family aside from his friends — that you magicked your way into our hearts?
And then you crushed them.
On Monday, the Daily Mail described some excerpts from a now-published interview with Playboy in which Oldman goes on a tear against political correctness by defending Mel Gibson’s now-notorious drunken anti-Semitic rant during a 2006 arrest. Well, that’s one way to prove you read Playboy for the articles.
“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 said. “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. That’s what gets me.”
Oldman went on. “I don’t know about Mel,” he said. “He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all f—ing hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n—– or that f—ing Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should just strike that and say ‘the N word’ and ‘the F word,’ although there are two F words now.”
Just for a refresher, what Gibson actually said was, among other things, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” and, to a female police officer, “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?”
But that was just the beginning. Oldman apparently resents that, while the First Amendment of the Constitution does protect his right to say horrible things about people, it also protects the right of others to castigate him — and Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin — for saying them. Oh yes, there’s a rip-roaring defense of Baldwin’s many public rants as well:
“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,” Oldman said. “I don’t blame him. So they persecute.” Mind you, Jonah Hill is also guilty of calling a paparazzo a f–, and he handled the aftermath much, much differently.
“So how do I come across? Angry?” Oldman said.
Well, yes actually, Gary. You do seem to be in need of a prescription for an extra strength chill pill.
“It’s dishonesty that frustrates me most,” he continued. “‘I can’t bear double standards. It gets under my skin more than anything.”
“Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a c— — and I’ll go one better, a f—ing useless c— — 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 f– and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, ‘I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.’ ‘He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, ‘You f–?’ I don’t get it.”
It’s all about context, dear. For starters, “lesbian” is just a label. F– is pretty universally accepted as a slur for a gay person. And while Maher can say just about anything on “Real Time” — certainly without HBO bleeping it — it doesn’t mean he doesn’t get criticized. Maher’s taken some heat for sexism.
Oldman is (was?) something of a thinking person’s cool actor, what with his roles in “Immortal Beloved,” “Basquiat” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” Plus, he was the hijacker in “Air Force One” and Commissioner Gordon in the “Dark Knight” trilogy. He’s the voice of Viktor Reznov in the “Call of Duty” video games. People liked liking Gary Oldman, and then he went and mucked it up with this Playboy interview.
Oldman also said that if you didn’t vote for “12 Years a Slave” at the Oscars, you were considered racist.
The funny things about these celebrity rants is that they never seem to include any sort of cogent arguments or criticism of whatever particular group is being slandered. Oldman never explains why he has a problem with Pelosi or why it would merit the use of a gendered, sexist insult. To our knowledge, he has yet to pen a treatise on how the poisoning of American culture via cinema is the direct responsibility of the Jewish people he says are running Hollywood — the very same ones who supposedly torched Gibson’s career. He just laments not being able to call people f—— c— or f– or say horrible things about Jews without meaningful repercussions.
“You have to be very careful about what you say,” Oldman said. “I do have particular views and opinions that most of this town doesn’t share, but it’s not like I’m a fascist or a racist. There’s nothing like that in my history.”
Jeez. Can’t we just go back to simpler times when Oldman was a charming guest on Graham Norton’s couch, offering whiskey to animatronic robots while laughing it up with Toni Collette and Nick Frost?