Gary Oldman Makes Onscreen Apology on Jimmy Kimmel Live for Anti-Semitic Comments in Playboy Interview: "I'm an A--hole"
Time for humble pie! Not content with his first apology, Gary Oldman used his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, June 25, to beg forgiveness, this time in person, for his anti-Semitic comments in Playboy magazine.
A visibly shaken and emotional Oldman looked mortified as he talked of letting his fan base down with his ill-considered remarks, excusing Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin’s past offensive transgressions, and calling political correctness "crap."
"It was an article I did with Playboy and I said some things that were poorly considered," the British actor told show host Jimmy Kimmel in a shaky voice. "Once I saw it in print, I saw that it was insensitive, pernicious and ill-informed. I am a public figure, I should be an example and inspiration and I am an a--hole. I am 56. I should know better. I extend my apology and my love and best wishes to my fan base."
Earlier that day, the Harry Potter actor had issued a written apology to the Anti-Defamation League, instantly becoming part of the cycle of political incorrectness followed by contrition, that he'd been criticizing in the article.
Before Oldman's appearance on Kimmel, Anti-Defamation director Abraham Foxman told the UK's Guardian newspaper, "At this point, we are not satisfied with what we received. His apology is insufficient and not satisfactory."
Trying again to make amends, the Oscar winner continued, "Words have meaning and they carry weight. And they carry on long after you've said them. I don't condone or excuse the words that I used in any context. I just basically shouldn't have used them, but I did and I have injured and wounded a great many people."
Credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
He added, "I appreciate you having me here and extending your hospitality and to put me in this seat once again. And it gives me the opportunity to say to those people that I, from my heart, I am profoundly, profoundly sorry—especially to the fans as they have been so incredible to me and loyal. I call them Team Oldman. I feel like I let them down."
Oldman felt that actors and other public figures should not be called on to offer words of wisdom outside of their field of knowledge. "Sometimes we are asked to be social and cultural commentators," he went on. "I stepped out of my area of expertise and I landed both feet in a hornets' nest. It came over in a certain way and for that I am deeply sorry."
Click the link above to see Oldman's emotional speech in full, and watch Kimmel make an impressively awkward segue into talking about his new movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.