NEW YORK — Gary Oldman is defending fellow actors Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin from critics of their comments on Jews and homosexuals, saying people need to take a joke.
In an expletive-laced interview with Playboy, Oldman decried the “political correctness” that ensnared the two actors. Gibson was filmed in an anti-Semitic rant in 2006 while being arrested for drunk driving, and he later apologized. Baldwin last year used an anti-gay slur in a New York City street confrontation.
Oldman said that Gibson “got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all (expletive) hypocrites.” He said he didn’t blame Baldwin for using the slur because somebody bothered him.
“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 in the interview.
He urged the Playboy interviewer to “edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.”
He said he’s not a bigot, “but I’m defending all the wrong people. I’m saying Mel’s all right, Alec’s a good guy.”
Douglas Urbanski, Oldman’s longtime manager, said Tuesday that the actor finds any kind of bigotry unacceptable and disgraceful. Urbanski said Oldman was criticizing hypocrisy instead of defending his fellow actors.
“In this interview Gary is doing what many intelligent people do,” Urbanski said. “He is illustrating the absurd by being absurd.”
Oldman stars in the upcoming “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” out July 11. Distributor 20th Century Fox had no immediate comment on Oldman’s Playboy remarks.
The actor also appears in a TV commercial for HTC mobile phones, which had no immediate comment on his remarks.