The Shmooze

Gary Oldman Insists Not 'Defending' Mel Gibson

By Eric Kelsey

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(Reuters) — Gary Oldman made comments about Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin and Nancy Pelosi in an interview that sparked headlines, but his manager insisted the actor was giving a “flamboyant monologue on political correctness and demonstrates the absurd by being absurd.”

In the interview published in Playboy magazine on Monday, the 56-year-old British actor said it would be hypocritical for people to castigate Gibson for his 2006 anti-Semitic diatribe while being arrested for drunken driving because “we’ve all said those things.”

“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?”

He added: “You have to edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.”

The Oscar-nominated actor, who stars in the upcoming film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” also said he did not blame Baldwin for using a homophobic slur while confronting a paparazzo in a New York street last year and that people are unable to “take a joke.”

“This notion that he’s defending Mel and Alec is preposterous,” said Oldman’s manager, Douglas Urbanski. “Gary Oldman would not defend hate speech or any divisive speech. The piece lacked a kind of balance on that regard.”

Film studio 20th Century Fox, which will distribute “Planet of the Apes,” did not immediately respond to a message left seeking comment.

Oldman also referred to U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in profane terms as an example of how comedians are able to say offensive words behind the cloak of satire.

Urbanski, who was present for the interview, objected to the way Playboy presented the “Sid and Nancy” actor as “crazy Gary.”

“It appears to be a Q and A, but it is in fact a cherry-picked piece,” he said of the published interview.

The magazine said it found Oldman’s responses thoughtful and intelligent.

“Playboy magazine did not ‘cherry-pick’ the quotes making headlines,” the magazine said in a statement. “That was done by media outlets covering the story. We encourage everyone to read his interview in its entirety and make up their own minds.”


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