Oldman in need of a new script
Opinion: Why you have to be careful what you say about what you can (or can’t) say
‘Gary Oldman’s point is that were he to use those words about Mrs Pelosi then he would get in trouble, whereas liberals such as Mr Maher or Mr Stewart would, under similar entirely hypothetical circumstances, be given a free pass. ’ Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Let’s be fair to Gary Oldman. He does seem to have grasped the inappropriate nature of his already notorious comments to Playboy magazine. Over the past few days, the British actor has been apologising like a man who’s stood on his mother-in-law’s hat after walking through a pigsty. A grovelling statement was put the way of the Anti-Defamation League. On Wednesday evening, he turned up on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and referred to himself as an “A-hole” (his cautious bowdlerisation). “Words can have meaning long after you’ve said them,” he murmured. By Golly, he said plenty of words.
Perusing the Playboy interview, one found no end of potential triggers for future controversy. At one stage, using an ingenious linguistic convolution, he managed to be outrageously rude to the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives while, apparently, making no remarks about her whatsoever. “If I called Nancy Pelosi a c**t — and I’ll go one better, a f**king useless c**t — I can’t really say that,” he mused. “But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it.” Note the vital “if” at the start of the sentence.
Gary’s point is that were he to use those words about Mrs Pelosi then he would get in trouble, whereas liberals such as Mr Maher or Mr Stewart would, under similar entirely hypothetical circumstances, be given a free pass.
Oldman has a real beef about the supposed hypocrisy of Hollywood liberals. Then he moved on to discuss the political correctness that governs thinking at awards season. Apparently, “if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave, you were a racist. You have to be very careful about what you say.” He also wondered why it was such a big deal for Alec Baldwin (a staunch Democrat, incidentally) to use “fag” as a term of abuse. If he’d stopped there then any one of those remarks (or others we haven’t space to print) could have become the centre of the story. But Oldman was just warming up. The ordure really began to fly when he addressed the consequences of Mel Gibson’s remarks to a police officer after his arrest in 2006. “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?” The Australian is alleged to have remarked.