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Gary Oldman isn’t your typical Hollywood celebrity. He’s never been interested in playing the game and has more often than not, gravitated toward roles he found unusual or eccentric rather than ones that would pay him the most money or bring him the most fame. Because of that, the majority of the headlines written about him, especially in the past few years, have been respectful and positive, but it’s been the exact opposite over the past day or so after his interview with Playboy Magazine went public, revealing a slew of quotes about political correctness, Mel Gibson and liberals.
From the outside looking in, many of Gary Oldman’s comments look pretty rough. He calls Nancy Pelosi a useless cunt. He defends Mel Gibson’s behavior during his infamous traffic stop. He blasts Jon Stewart and Bill Maher. He uses the n-word and both of the f-words. In short, it’s a publicist’s nightmare, but for all of those who are willing to actually read the entire exchange, they’ll see this isn’t merely a case of an older white guy losing it. In fact, the entire conversation is actually about how politically correct Hollywood has become and how he’s unable to say any of those things.
Let’s take a look, as an example, of Gary Oldman’s take on Alec Baldwin and Mel Gibson…
”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. So they persecute. 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. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know?”
That sounds really horrible, right? Well, that statement came amidst a larger comment about how he doesn’t understand outrage. Here’s that portion…
”We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?”
In many ways, the situation is very similar to the controversy Mark Cuban stirred up a few weeks back. Speaking on the Donald Sterling fiasco in which the Clippers owner ranted during a private conversation about not wanting black people to attend his games, Cuban told an interviewer it’s a slippery slope when you start threatening people over their prejudices since feelings are different than actions. His larger point was a philosophical one, but some of his individual quotes about walking to the other side of the street when shady young people approach were excerpted and printed without clarification.
The same thing has been happening to Gary Oldman here, though fortunately most outlets seem to be providing at least a measure of the larger story. Here’s to hoping that continues and this controversy doesn’t spiral further out of control.