The British actor has said that he doesn't understand the furore surrounding Gibson's 2006 remarks.
Gary Oldman has become the centre of his own controversy after dipping into the enduring furore surrounding anti-Semitic comments that fellow actor Mel Gibson made in 2006. The Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy actor features in a new interview with Playboy magazine in which he airs his disbelief over the outrage that followed Gibson's outburst.
Describing those who chastised Gibson as "f**king hypocrites," Oldman added "We've all said those things." The 56 year-old continued "We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That's what gets me. I think it's like, take a f**king joke. Get over it."
Gibson was arrested for drink-driving in Malibu and after asking whether the police officer was Jewish, said "F**king Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." The filmmaker apologised, saying the comments were "blurted out in a moment of insanity" and branding the incident as "despicable behaviour."
"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 continued. "He's like an outcast, a leper, you know?
"He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, "You fag"? I don't get it."
"We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That's what gets me. You have to be very careful about what you say," he reasoned, adding "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."
Oldman's statements have been perceived to be in defence of Gibson's behaviour but Douglas Urbanski, Oldman's spokesperson issued a lengthy statement denying that the actor has defended Gibson in any way, rather than drawing attention to the thorny issue of political correctness and hypocrisy.
Urbanski also indicated that the interview took place over nine hours therefore certain conversational strings were omitted to give "the impression of a certain sort of narrative."
"On the topic of Mel Gibson, Gary does not 'defend' him," Urbanski told The Independent. Noteworthy, however, is that other artists - notably Robert Downey Jr. and Jodie Foster - have loudly defended Mel Gibson spanning the past few years.
"Political correctness is a thing that drives Gary and many many others crazy. [...] In this interview, Gary is doing what many intelligent people do: he is illustrating the absurd by being absurd. I found his attitudes as an artist and his work ethic first class and deeply professional. These are all hallmarks consistent with how Gary has lived his life and career."
Mel Gibson's 2006 Remarks Against Jews Caused Outrage.