(photo credit: REUTERS)
Actor Gary Oldman apologized to the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center in an open letter in response to the backlash following his controversial comments defending Mel Gibson's 2006 anti-Semitic rant, Deadline Hollywood reported late Tuesday.
Oldman wrote that he was "deeply remorseful" that his comments, made during a recent interview with Playboy, were "offensive to many Jewish people."
"Upon reading my comments in print—I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype," he continued. "Anything that contributes to this stereotype is unacceptable, including my own words on the matter."
The ADL lashed out at Oldman earlier on Tuesday, calling his remarks, which characterized Mel Gibson's ostracization in Hollywood as a result of political incorrectness rather than anti-Semitism, "irresponsible" and "disturbing."
"It is disturbing that Mr. Oldman appears to have bought into Mr. Gibson’s warped and prejudiced world view,” the ADL said.
In his interview, Oldman said that "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."
"He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things," Oldman continued.
In an attempt to clarify his comments, Oldman wrote in his letter to the ADL that the film industry and his own career specifically owe "an enormous debt" to the contribution of Jews in Hollywood.
He insisted that his apology was "heartfelt" and "genuine," even going so far as to say that "The Jewish People, persecuted through the ages, are the first to hear God’s voice, and surely are the chosen people" in his plea for forgiveness.