Gary Oldman had a while to get ready for this apology tour. He knew, as he was partaking in a long, bizarre conversation with Playboy — one in which he first defended Mel Gibson and then kinda hopped aboard the same leaky boat — that the writer should “edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.”
Visiting Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, Oldman appeared supremely nervous and upset, alternately clasping his hands and gripping the chair like he was about to go flying off Air Force One. (Wondering if he might’ve just been using those Oscar-nominated acting skills? Kimmel voiced the concern for you.) Here’s some of what Oldman had to say:
I said some things that were poorly considered. And once I had seen it in print, I could see that it was offensive, insensitive, pernicious, and ill-informed. Words have meaning, they carry weight, and they carry on long after you’ve said them. I don’t condone or excuse the words I used, well, in any context. I just basically shouldn’t have used them in any context — but I did and I have deeply injured and wounded a great many people. … I’m a public figure, I should be an example and inspiration, and I’m an a-hole; I’m 56 and I should know better.
Kimmel, meanwhile, was just happy he wasn’t the one apologizing for something this time. And he actually managed to swerve the discussion over to the topic that binds us all, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
On Tuesday, Oldman sent an apology to the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It trod ground similar to that of the Kimmel appearance, concluding, “I hope you will know that this apology is heartfelt, genuine, and that I have an enormous personal affinity for the Jewish people in general, and those specifically in my life. The Jewish People, persecuted thorough the ages, are the first to hear God’s voice, and surely are the chosen people.” The ADL called the apology “insufficient and not satisfactory.” Maybe they’ll have a change of heart after seeing this YouTube clip, or maybe not and this will go on forever and Gary Oldman will never be the same again.