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David Poland

By David Poland

Gary Oldman’s Foot In Mouth Disease


I felt a distinct sense of déjà vu when I started seeing the eruption on Twitter over Gary Oldman’s Playboy interview remarks. You see, I have been down this road with Gary before.

The year was 2000. Rod Lurie had made his second film, The Contender, which had been picked up by DreamWorks SKG. It was the year after American Beauty, so DreamWorks SKG had an Oscar glow and though Gladiator was their big show pony, Lurie being ushered into that company was a very big deal. Joan Allen was an immediate big-time contender to win Best Actress. And there was strong buzz around Gary Oldman for Best Supporting Actor, playing an ultra-conservative, buttoned-up Senator.

Lurie, who is a friend, re-cut the film based on notes and time in the cutting room with Steven Spielberg. And he was thrilled.

But when Oldman saw the re-cut, he claimed that his character had been politically simplified to the point of it being an offense. He claimed it became a caricature of a rightie instead of a nuanced portrait. And he went on the war path. (Others have indicated that his performance was not cut at all, making it rather confusing as to why he went ballistic.) As the story was told to me, he actually called Spielberg an anti-Semite and spat out some other rage connected to Spielberg’s religion. He also went right after the head of marketing at the studio, Terry Press, calling her—as I was told the story—a “fucking midget cunt.”

Immediately, the Oscar push by the studio shifted to Jeff Bridges, which was charming as The President, but in a light role, hardly up in position to compete with the heavy dramatic turns by Del Toro, Phoenix, Finney, and Dafoe (or Oldman, for that matter). But DreamWorks got him nominated and everyone loves Bridges, so no controversy created—in what I still think of as a big old “fuck you” to Gary Oldman.

In the Playboy interview, Gary doesn’t choose to tell the story, which is a sign of sanity and learning. No need to kick an old hornet’s nest. Because it got worse. A lot worse.

The decade before The Contender, Oldman got acclaim for Henry & June, JFK, Dracula, True RomanceThe Professional, The Scarlett Letter, The Fifth Element, Air Force One, and he even got played to class up dreck with Lost In Space. He got acclaim for other performances too, but these were the 8 films released by major studios or their releasing arms. He was either the lead or one of the three top names on 7 of the films (the odd one out being the first).

Then came The Contender… in a role that Gary not only assumed would bring him his first Oscar nomination (a shocking omission, though that’s a different conversation), but also allow him to control his future, which at the time, included becoming a box-office star. He told me at the time that he was frustrated by being the guy they didn’t hire for many roles that he wanted because he just wasn’t a big enough name.

He had already shot Ridley Scott’s Hannibal for then-major MGM when this all hit the fan. But he would make only three movies in 2001-2003… none for a Hollywood studio. His first film back at a studio was in a minor supporting role in the third Harry Potter film. He continues to work only for WB and only in supporting roles in 3 more Potter films and as Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

In 2009, he got to play a 2nd lead in a horror film (The Unborn) for Rogue, a division of Focus, which was a division of Universal, but being run by what is now wholly Relativity. And no coincidence that the writer-director was David Goyer, who had worked with Oldman on the Batman films. He also got to play—on a motion capture stage— three roles in Bob Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol. The ice was finally melting… made even more apparent because Zemeckis was a protégé-then-compatriot of Spielberg’s.

Oldman finally got back to where he was in 2000 as the bad guy, #2 only to Denzel, in WB’s The Book of Eli. He played another bad guy in Red Riding Hood for WB. And then, finally, he got to play a lead in a film released by a major studio arm for the first time in a decade with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy… and with it, his first Oscar nomination.

So what happened to Gary Oldman, arguably one of the finest, most interesting actors of his generation, for a decade?

As suggested from before it actually became so clear that Oldman had hit a career wall and hard… Mr. Spielberg is what happened to Gary Oldman.

Now, Spielberg happens to be Jewish. But he also happens to be one of the 10 most powerful people in Hollywood, full stop, and has been for decades. Every studio has been in business with him. Every studio looks forward to being in business with him in the future. So when you make an enemy like that, you have a big problem. And Gary Oldman’s mouth turned Spielberg into an enemy. And Gary Oldman turned from sure-fire Oscar contender into bit player… an esteemed bit player, but mostly a bit player… for a decade.

Gary is no fool. (He’s actually incredibly smart.) And when he was out with Tinker, Tailor, he offered this tidbit, loaded with subtext, on the way out of our interview.

In the last year or so, he’s had a small hit with the RoboCop reboot, he’s making plans to direct his second film, and he’s out promoting his top-of-the-call-sheet turn in Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and BOOM, here comes the Playboy interview.

Oldman and his consigliere, Doug Urbanski, have responded to their fuck-up much more effectively this time around (and certainly more effectively than Lars did), quickly sending/releasing a note to the ADL…

Dear Gentlemen of the ADL:

I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview 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. Anything that contributes to this stereotype is unacceptable, including my own words on the matter. If, during the interview, I had been asked to elaborate on this point I would have pointed out that I had just finished reading Neal Gabler’s superb book about the Jews and Hollywood, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews invented Hollywood. The fact is that our business, and my own career specifically, owes an enormous debt to that contribution.

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.

I would like to sign off with “Shalom Aleichem” — but under the circumstances, perhaps today I lose the right to use that phrase, so I will wish you all peace

–Gary Oldman”

I don’t think Gary Oldman is an anti-Semite.

In fact, I think the Playboy interview gets his personality pretty perfectly. He has strong opinions. He doesn’t abide fucking about. He will take shots at people with words that are not right for polite company. He can be quite vain. But his mind is as fascinating as the mind of any character he’s played.

And I completely get what he was trying to say—what he said—in that interview. Did Mel Gibson need to be run out of town for saying something beyond idiotic when he was drunk? Not in my opinion. But, on the other hand, when it became public, it became a public issue and being seen as a bigot and/or a punchline devalues a person significantly as a public personality.

The Alec Baldwin conversation is completely appropriate for Oldman to bring up. Baldwin is a a guy who does not appear to be a homophobe, but who grew up in a culture when “fag” was a light insult, thrown around without much attached to it. Does it mean that, in fact, one is using someone’s sexuality as an epithet? Yes. Is it okay? No. But is it the level of discourse that should bury a 50-year-old man’s career?

I just got into this problem this last week when I referred to the Transformers franchise as “Trannies,” as I have since its beginning. The consensus is that this is unacceptable in 2014. And while my intent was not to insult the transgender community… yeah… okay… I get it. The thing is, when I am writing for an audience it’s not just about me. And there is something infuriating about not having the freedom to speak/write as you like and to be taken at face value by those who might read other things into your words.

Really, the most frustrating thing about Gary Oldman in that interview is that he respects Charles Krauthammer.

And I don’t buy the argument that the interview clips were out of context and that is the problem. Because in the full interview, he says what he says and the interpretation of the words is not confused. What is unfortunate is that many people can’t get past what he said to hear what he meant… with which most people would agree.

Defending people for what some people understandably consider hate speech, even if you think—and I basically agree—that it becomes pitchforks and torches instantly, and out of proportion, is just a bad idea for a public figure. Especially if you are paid based on the public’s perception of you. And he knows that.

Personally, both as a consumer and as someone who asks people to talk to me as a career, I don’t want people to self-censor to the point where all we get are platitudes. We are choking on platitudes. And I think that is what Gary was trying to say.

If you want to listen to Gary be as honest as he could be without drawing outside of the lines, his interview from January 2012 is below. He is quite skilled at it. But sometimes, I guess, he just forgets.

And so it goes…

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58 Responses to “Gary Oldman’s Foot In Mouth Disease”

  1. PcChongor says:

    The problem with kneejerk “PC Police” and the “Obligatory Subsequent Apology Patrol” is that they don’t do much to actually help eliminate racist/sexist/anti-Semitic speech, so much as they just drive it back into the realm of the person’s private life and thought; thus creating a much more insidious PR mask of surface tolerance atop the same old ugly mug of prejudice and racism.

    And the new willingness of politicians and celebrities in the age of Twitter to immediately turn face and dive on the grenade of their own beliefs, whether ultimately right or wrong, certainly doesn’t bode well for the future of public discourse and free speech.

  2. leahnz says:

    good grief, gary oldman’s a good actor and he’s also a massive bigot. the hilarious thing about ‘outspoken’ bigots is their assumption that everyone else is a ‘closet bigot’ and thinks the same nasty shit they do and they’re just not being ‘honest’, because, projection! this seems so typical to bigots, the “i’m the only honest one!” bellowing — nah MR O, you just a big ol’ brit bigot boyo, always have been.

    this section of the interview says it nicely, parsed:
    “I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things.”
    haha, nope! we all have NOT “all said those things”; i’ve never said those things, not once, never THOUGHT them, never heard another human being utter “those things” in casual private conversation between friends… i think you’ve been hanging around with other like-minded bigots MR O! shocker.

    “The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew?”
    oh dear the projection, MR O. there are bazillions of us who never call people a nigger or fucking Jew, ever, not publicly or privately. never. amazing huh.

    “I’m being brutally honest here.”
    er nope, you’re being brutally dense, assuming everyone’s an asshole deep down like you.

    “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.”
    of course you don’t, cuz you’re a dick.

    “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— ”
    er nope, he said the wrong thing because it was a foul glimpse into Mel’s mind, Mel who was raised with his father’s holocaust-denying bigotry.

    “But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That fucking kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone”
    uh NOPE, the sheer hypocrisy of EVERYONE? we all hide? again projection’s a bitch BIG O. i think lots of people are just going through life attempting to be decent, respectful human beings, not ‘hiding’ hypocrites, just people who may have some prejudices based the society we live in but also possess a degree of self-awareness and ability to at least try to rise above the baseline backwardness some people revel in. put simply, lots of people are not bigoted douchebags obsessed with the idea of ‘political correctness’ as taking away their inherent right to be a fucking asshole. just be a massive asshole, MR O – own it, swim in it, don’t fake apologise, beat your bigot drum, be ignorant and proud. but don’t for a minute assume we’re all like you.

  3. PcChongor says:

    Exactly. There’s no pride in being a bigot anymore, so people keep it bottled in until they get a few pints of grog down their gullets (or a 30-year old mistress on their payroll), and then explode with a hate fueled hadouken that leaves them with no other recourse but to fake apologize. If you wanna hate Jews for killing Jesus and recutting your film, then fine. Just be honest about it, and don’t act shocked when aforementioned Jews subsequently get a little bit miffed over it.

    “We’re here! We’re bigoted! Get used to it!”

  4. Bulldog68 says:

    Leahnz, one question, have you ever done anything that you are not proud of and could be deemed as politically incorrect?

    Oldman is a fool. Gibson racism was inbred. They have no excuses. But what about every day people who are not in front of the cameras and for the most part will not have these massive meltdowns, especially for all the world to see.

    Who sets the bar so that others know when it’s crossed? Who determines that it’s okay to punish Baldwin but forgive Jonah Hill?

    The interesting thing about the Don Sterling case is that he has hired lawyers, not just for his defense, but to dig up dirt on all the other owners to find any incidences when they might have made racist, or perceived racist, comments. Clearly he knows in which pond he fishes. He has been in the owner’s steam room. If anything is found, should the owners be forced to sell their franchises too?

    I say this as a black man because I’d hate to see a reel of all the comments I have made in my time. I have black friends who call each other nigger. Gay friends who call each other fag and queer. Fat friends who call each other pig. Female friends who call each cunt and bitches. And some even allow non members from their particular groups to call them those names. Should they all lose their jobs?

    So Leahnz, you and I have had some really nice exchanges over the years, so you know my question is honest and completely without snark. You don’t have to say what you did, but have you ever in your years said, or did anything racially that you may not be proud of?

  5. SamLowry says:

    Hmm, I guess that George Will article I linked to in the other thread would apply to this as well (even though I posted it to comment on the he said/he said spat between David and Don)…

    …but how about a refresher on the feel-good-athon that was CRASH? (Okay, after adding the article and the trailer together I guessed that Olivia Wilde in THIRD PERSON is a figment of Neeson’s imagination, but also Franco, Kunis, their kid, and who else?)

  6. Sam says:

    David, I’m ok with you calling the Trannies moniker for the Transformers series BUT these days being a gay man in the TLGB community is the same as being a straight white man in the rest of America.

    BTW, that TLGB acronym was used at LA Pride earlier this month. My first reaction upon seeing it was “I’m third now?”

  7. Dee says:

    Gary Oldman’s idea that Jews go around saying “those f–king Germans” is just bizarre. Who are they talking about, Angela Merkel?

    And Germany killed six million Jews. Did Jews kill six million Irish Catholics? (which is what Mel Gibson mostly descends from). If not, then presumably Mel had no mandate to say it.

    Also, I’m pretty sure English people start all the wars in the world. I don’t think anyone voluntarily signed up to join the British Empire (barring an exception or two).

  8. christian says:

    The worst thing about the Anti-Anti-PC Patrol is their projective assumption that everybody is a closet bigot and homophobe in their soulful moments (a common sop from angry white dudes). I hate the idea of celebs being held to account for their every utterance but the thought that I would defend stream of conscious anti-semitism because of drink…To quote Sir Ridley, “Better give it up, mate.” But I’d still have a drink with Oldman.

  9. leahnz says:

    oh nos i’ve been at a going-away do and engaging in a bit of daydrinking so i’ll try not to carry on (and no worries Bulldog, honest attempts at communication are always cool, with me at leastt)

    just to get it out of the way i think the term ‘politically incorrect’ has became a meaningless catch-all phrase (no offence honestly) so i don’t care to frame my thoughts this way. and oh yeah christ on a cracker of course i’ve said and done things in my life i’m not proud of – hurtful, stupid things that i regret. but no, not in the context of hatred for and bigotry towards some specific group i hold in contempt. i think this is the point, but i’ll get back to that.

    the interesting thing about the examples you give – black people calling each other nigger, gay friends calling each other fag, fat people calling each other pig, women calling each other cunt and bitch – is that these are instances of an individual of a given ‘group’ using a certain kind of derogatory slur/or even endearing or affectionate term to communicate with another member of the same ‘group’. this is where the context of privilege and past oppression/persecution becomes so critical, because for example a black person calling another black person ‘nigger’ is inherently different in context from a white person using nigger as a derogatory term to describe a black person, because of all the heavy baggage of white privilege and horribly ugly history of white racism and oppression of people of african lineage that comes with it. a gay man may call another gay man a fag and the context is entirely different from that of a straight guy using fag as a derogatory slur against another man, gay or not; straight men have a history of privilege and active oppression and persecution of homosexuals throughout much of history, so the use of the term hatefully says something insidious about the attitude of the user. and so on and so forth, fat-shaming, misogyny – privilege is the crucial ingredient when examining bigotry and prejudice. (“And some even allow non members from their particular groups to call them those names.” well that’s an individual’s choice – what their motivation is for doing so may not be evident -but an individual’s acceptance of certain behaviour does not mean the behaviour is then acceptable and not offensive to the entire group, or absolve the user of hateful language. “Should they all lose their jobs?” i don’t quite understand this one, should people lose their jobs for calling gay people ‘fags’ because a gay person ‘lets’ them, or black people nigger, etc? i don’t know, i’d say it depends on the profession/circumstance; if one works with a lot of homosexuals or black people then referring to said people as fags or niggers – terms which are offensive to a great many people both gay/not gay and black/not black – then i’d say possibly yes, using overtly bigoted, derogatory language is certainly grounds to lose one’s position of authority in some instances.

    getting back to the first paragraph, i think much of the issue hinges on the exposure of inner hatred. of course i’m guilty of saying hurtful things to people in my life at times, i’m not proud of it but i’ve never called or referred to a black person as a nigger, i’ve never called or referred to a jewish person as a ‘fucking jew’, nor derogatorily called a gay person fag, etc, because here’s the thing: i don’t THINK that way, of black people as niggers or gay people as faggots or ‘fucking jews’ etc, it’s not in my mindset or lexicon. when people like oldman/gibson/sterling say bigoted, hateful stuff, if people think it’s just some random ‘mistake’ or slip of the tongue, i think that’s kind of naïve or maybe even delusional or a function of denial. in my experience people who don’t THINK this way simply don’t say bigoted stuff in the heat of the moment, and people who DO think this way come out with their hate reflective of deep-seated attitudes that seep out under pressure. isn’t it interesting that these straight white dudes never seem to have hateful, derogatory outbursts about straight white men as a group. funny that, i think it says a lot really.

    adults should know there’s often consequences for behaviour; many people mistakenly seem to think ‘free speech’ means you can say whatever hateful shit you want to and nothing can happen to you because ‘free speech’! (i actually saw this exact thing on ‘fox news’, which i still can’t quite believe is for real and not a parody/send up; i watched with my goddaughter who was doing a paper at uni and used a fox news item wherein some spoon contended that people who were critical of his hateful public outburst opposing gay marriage were trying to take away his right to free speech, completely oblivious to the fact that responding with criticism to a public stance utilising free speech is ALSO free speech at work, it’s a continuum not an end game. society is constantly evolving and parameters changing, just because it was once acceptable for people to spout racist, sexist bigotry with little consequence doesn’t mean this is some inherent right and the way it will always be. people who never had a voice before are able to speak out now more than ever, but [straight] white male privilege and hegemony dies hard, i think were seeing that right now.)

  10. The Pope says:

    Oldman may be as you say, intelligent but what he said is deeply ignorant. The facts are that he harbors those sentiments and, in different company such sentiments are common currency. Those sentiments do not help anyone evolve in a social sense. Not now, not in the past and not in the future. Not in Hollywood, Dublin, Dubai or Tokyo. It’s not about being PC. It’s about societal development and when people utter bile like that, it marks a regression and diminishes us all.

  11. McRaj says:

    Oldman said nothing wrong. Everyone get over it and move on. This shit is so lame.

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    I am not a psychologist — I don’t even play one on television — but I sense Gary Oldman is a deeply troubled guy who on some level hates himself for sabotaging his own career (or at the very least seriously impeding his career momentum) with excessive drinking and drugging in the ’90s. (He actually spoke quite freely about his substance abuse problem way back during during the junket for The Scarlet Letter.)

    Also: I suspect that his experience with press scrutiny of his own, ahem, escapades is what makes him so quick to sympathize with Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin.…-a077924227

  13. Stella's Boy says:

    Only 56 and he sounds like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Why so angry Gary? Is it really a travesty that some people were upset by what Gibson and Baldwin said? Are those really good examples of the “PC Police” run amok? Last I checked both are still working in Hollywood. And I highly doubt anyone could call Pelosi or any other woman “A f*&king useless c&^t” and get away with it. And again, calling a woman something like that and it resulting in outrage would be an example of people being too politically correct? In 2014? leah is totally right that people just love to scream “politically correct” and it’s lost all meaning. There’s also a lot of selective partisan outrage with it.

  14. Amblinman says:

    Hey, can we not lob in “cunt” with stuff like nigger or fag? It’s one of my favorite words and I refuse to stop using it. Refuse. And everyone is a cunt. And a dick. I am gender neutral in my gender epithets.

  15. Hallick says:

    One of the weird things about Oldman’s interview is the whole “why can’t people just take a joke?” lament where nothing he refers to is an example of somebody making a joke (Baldwin’s lashing out at paparazzi, Gibson’s ranting during his arrest, etc). If he’s got a theory that Baldwin and Gibson were just doing a comedy bit, man I’d love to hear it.

    The main problem with this stupid “Jews run Hollywood!” slogan is how a statement like that somehow fans out to emcompass all of the jews as if they were like the Borg from Star Trek and they’re ALL controlling Hollywood. Which is hilariously “ominous”, because if somebody else were to say “Christians run the United States government!” people would reply, “Ummm…okay. Yeah. What about it then?”.

  16. celluloidkid says:

    What I find most interesting is this WB connection. Based on DP’s piece, it would seem they were the only major willing to hire him. It was also WB that gave Mel a starring role in Edge of Darkness after his anti-Semitic, drunken rant. Mel became a complete pariah after those tapes leaked out. And if I remember correctly, WB, was willing to let Mel be in Hangover II.

    So what’s the story over at WB? They seem to be the studio for the bro-iest of bros.

  17. Pete B. says:

    Well they are Warner BROTHERS.

  18. movieman says:

    “Henry and June”?
    Don’t you mean “Sid and Nancy”?

  19. YancySkancy says:

    Yeah, I was scratching my head over HENRY & JUNE as well, movieman. Oldman is in it, but only for a few seconds.

    Here’s my Gary Oldman anecdote:

    One day in 2006, I wandered into the Bookstar in Studio City after a breakfast meeting with a producer and immediately spotted Gary Oldman with a couple of kids and an older woman who was probably either Oldman’s mum or the kids’ nanny (they called her “Dolly”). They were blocking my path to the little room that houses all the entertainment-related books, but they parted to let me pass.

    One of the kids was showing Oldman a copy of a “Family Guy” book, and after a moment’s perusal, Oldman returned it to the shelf saying, “No, it’s a bit inappropriate, that.”

    Wonder if he has ever let them watch HENRY & JUNE?

  20. leahnz says:

    “So what’s the story over at WB? They seem to be the studio for the bro-iest of bros.”

    “Well they are Warner BROTHERS.”

    haha (maybe i’m easily amused)

    jts ‘cunt’ is a funny one, very different inferences in the US and UK; one time a friend (so not some creeper) put a live huhu grub down the back of my t-shirt – and grubs freak me the hell out, like large maggots – so i reflexively screamed, “fuck off you big cunt!” and this guy from alabama who had just started working with us looked so stricken i thought he might pass out with the vapours. he is just the sweetest guy who has become a good friend but he couldn’t believe i’d said that word, we had to explain to him how as a UK colloquialism it’s kind of like saying ‘asshole’ (with roots in misogyny no doubt) so he gets it now, but it’s always illuminating how words can have different meanings depending on where and to whom they’re directed. i now tend to say ‘fuck off ya big lamp’ anyway so i don’t have that issue

    (wow oldman’s only 53? man he looks kind of haggard for his age, maybe it’s the rage virus, i feel a bit sorry for him)

  21. Ray Pride says:

    Warner Bros., in fact.

  22. leahnz says:

    and by 53 i mean 56, oops, tablet typing

  23. movieman says:

    Yancy- I thought maybe I’d misremembered (that must be a word, my Spellcheck didn’t flag it, lol) “H&J” and that Oldman might have been in it.
    But I checked the Maltin book and he wasn’t mentioned. I don’t even recall him doing a walk-on.
    Wasn’t “H&J” around the time Oldman and Thurman were a couple? That might explain his cameo.
    On an unrelated note, I’m guessing that Oldman’s frothing-at-the-mouth-moment may be of interest only to media types.
    I noticed that his national cell phone commercial–at least I think it’s for a cell phone–is still airing.

  24. Unfinishe says:

    Maybe Warner Brothers’ slogan can be “less controlled by the Jews.”

    I think Oldman’s saying everyone has expressed or thought something politically incorrect at one time or another, not necessarily saying the nigger-word, or anything derogatory about homosexuals and Jews. The thing is, gays have now been elevated to tier one along with blacks and Jews; comments aimed at those groups will inspire a stronger backlash than criticizing — oh, say — the Irish, or eye-talians, or a-rabs.

    Some people thought Oldman’s apology was sarcastic — “the first to hear the voice of God” — which would’ve been funny because the ADL is one of the most loathsome groups on the political scene. There was a great documentary about them called DEFAMATION.

  25. christian says:

    Sid Vicious would laugh in Oldman’s face.

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah how dare gays, blacks, and Jews be offended by hateful, derogatory, and stereotypical comments aimed at them? Like what is their deal Unfinishe, demanding elevation to “tier one?”

  27. SamLowry says:

    After reading about the 1-year anniversary of the anti-gay propaganda law in Russia (though designed to protect minors from “harmful” information, a minor was convicted for telling classmates she was gay), I realized the NRA is right–this discrimination won’t end until you’re allowed to shoot anyone who oppresses you.

    And we should include economic oppression as well. It’s not just bosses who make you work off the clock or over 40 hours without paying overtime who deserve a bullet, but the boards and CEOs who eliminate jobs and close factories should be willing to take one for the team, as well as job-seekers of a certain ethnic persuasion who were notorious for showing up at a job site, pointing out some random worker and telling the foreman “I can do that for half of what you’re paying him.”

    Yes, I’m talking about the Irish.

  28. Hallick says:

    Tier One’s not all that anyway. Pier One always had way better coupons.

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    You want a nice set of glassware for outdoor summer fun, you definitely go to Pier One and not Tier One. Especially if you’re shopping out-of-season.

  30. leahnz says:

    hey if you just want an umbrella cocktail and bit of a laugh, you can hang out on Tier Five with the sexy lamps

  31. Unfinishe says:

    Yeah how dare gays, blacks, and Jews be offended by hateful, derogatory, and stereotypical comments aimed at them? Like what is their deal Unfinishe, demanding elevation to “tier one?”

    I never said those groups should “take a ‘joke,'” or roll with abusive language. Instead I’m referring to the fact that, at least in the United States, one’s more likely to get into hot water for making offensive comments against those particular groups than other groups. Do you disagree? Or are you going to hide behind fourth-tier sarcasm to argue that we are consistently outraged irrespective of the victim?

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    Is it a bad thing that people find themselves in hot water after making offensive comments about gays, blacks, or Jews? Just “political correctness” rearing its ugly head?

    That sarcasm was third-tier, at worst.

  33. Pete B. says:

    If you get scolded on a movie site for saying ‘Trannies’ when discussing the Transformer films, yeah that’s kinda taking it too far.

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    If that’s an example of political correctness run amok, well, getting scolded seems pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things, and a pretty mild example of taking things too far.

  35. Hallick says:

    “Instead I’m referring to the fact that, at least in the United States, one’s more likely to get into hot water for making offensive comments against those particular groups than other groups. Do you disagree?”

    I do. But even if I did agree, the shame wouldn’t be on any of those three groups for having the power to create consequences for the people making hateful remarks. The shame would be on those who think the same kind of remarks are less important as long as they’re directed at groups they consider second tier, third tier, etc. in importance.

  36. Hallick says:

    “If you get scolded on a movie site for saying ‘Trannies’ when discussing the Transformer films, yeah that’s kinda taking it too far.”

    That’s as dumb as someone being scolded for using the name “Blacky Parrish” on a General Hospital fan forum. Not talking about you!

  37. Bulldog68 says:

    “I never said those groups should “take a ‘joke,’” or roll with abusive language. Instead I’m referring to the fact that, at least in the United States, one’s more likely to get into hot water for making offensive comments against those particular groups than other groups. Do you disagree? Or are you going to hide behind fourth-tier sarcasm to argue that we are consistently outraged irrespective of the victim?”

    So how do white people feel about being called Redneck and cracker? What’s the temperature on those words?

  38. leahnz says:

    i’m not going to get into a debate with an ‘Unfinishe’ spoon (is unfinishe french for ‘not done yet’ or just meant to be edgy cuz ‘missing letter!’) but as i alluded to earlier, the level of backlash against public bigotry tends to be somewhat commensurate with the egregiousness of oppression/persecution of said group; in western culture there are no mass groups of people who have been more oppressed, denied rights and autonomy, persecuted and exterminated than women, blacks, homosexuals, and jews, groups of people bought and sold as slaves and treated as servants and property, denied basic human and legal rights and autonomy such as to vote, own property and live without violence or be ridiculed and killed simply for existing. gay people in some circumstances and to some degree have been able to ‘hide’ who they are, forced to live a lie for self-preservation, to exist without persecution, but enough is enough and the time has come for enlightenment and the end to the reign of hateful bigots. so if outrage against the expression of hatred, bigotry and sexism against these specific ‘groups’ (human beings) is louder and more acute then it’s a natural swing of the pendulum because these groups have suffered disproportionate oppression and persecution in western culture, where the enshrined phrase ‘all men are created equal’ is a joke for many (and that’s not to excuse or minimize bigotry and hatred toward other ‘groups’, who have every right to protest and be championed just as loud and long as other marginalised people)

  39. SamLowry says:

    “So how do white people feel about being called Redneck and cracker?”

    The easy answer is to count up the number of reality shows where all the participants could wear T-shirts saying “Redneck and proud of it!” Or type “redneck pride” into Google images, or listen to “Proud to Be a Redneck”, or watch “Redneck Piece of White Trash” (you’ve been warned).

    It reminds me of a late-night chat show from around the time of the Clarence Thomas hearings when the female guests, led by Roseanne (IIRC), tried to sexually harass the gaffers and cameramen and anyone else they could find–turns out it’s impossible for women to sexually harass a man because men enjoy the attention.

  40. Patryk says:

    I am not a writer, a critic or in any way connected with show business. But I am a consumer. And I can choose to avoid spending money on products that help advance Mr. Oldman’s career. One does not have to be Jewish, gay, African American, female, transgender or anything else to see what Oldman (and Gibson, for that matter) is all about. Poor poor pitiful politically picked on Oldman. Another whining Hollywood hoodlum, who just happens to be on the right side of the political spectrum, but who can’t seem to control his inner rage. Shame. I actually love his work in “Sid and Nancy,” “Dracula,” “Prick Up Your Ears,” and in some other early roles. But from this point forward, I will refrain from spending my dollars or my time watching or reading about him.

  41. Monco says:

    Leah is of course a bigot. She is a bigot against consetvatives. She has more than once on this blog referred to conservatives as “sith” which are an embodiment of absolute evil. This is incredibly offensivse to conservatives who she apparently considers evil. It doesnt matter if she thinks she is not being offensive, as the trannies commentator pointed out to DP that doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that it caused offense. Of course she will argue free speech and that she just making a joke but she argued that was invalid when someone wants to defend traditional marriage. See? This is the double standard Oldman was talking about.

  42. Hallick says:

    “So how do white people feel about being called Redneck and cracker? What’s the temperature on those words?”

    I dunno…room temperature? They never really carried the weight of other racial epithets in their best days. Nowadays, “redneck” is a self-affirmation for so many people it’s virtually useless as a put-down; and hearing “cracker” would make me feel like the person saying it fell out of a time machine from half a century ago.

    The thing about finding analogous hot words for white people is that we don’t have the additional cultural fabric of exploitation, discrimination and attempted extermination that is kind of inseparable from anti-semitic name calling and other racial epithets. The words are more than just the words. There’s a none-too-distant historical line from “kike” to the holocaust and “nigger” to lynchings and so on. What ominous cloud of historic hell does a word like “cracker” even come close to evoking for a white person?

  43. PcChongor says:

    For white people, the only thing that even begins to come close to the “Big Three,” is either being called a racist, or being called a “White Devil” by any sort of black public speaker.

  44. SamLowry says:

    Maybe it’s time for rich old farts to form the “CADL”, because they are such an oppressed minority group.

    Sorry, but “white devil” is actually kind of funny; if someone called me that I’d probably laugh.

  45. PcChongor says:

    And regardless of PC paranoia, Louis CK is still living proof that, so long as the joke is funny and the context makes sense, you truly can say anything you want without huge fear of reprisal (I think the only thing he’s ever apologized for was the infamous Palin tweet, which was more of a drunk tweet than a well thought out joke).

  46. Hallick says:

    “But from this point forward, I will refrain from spending my dollars or my time watching or reading about him.”

    Why wouldn’t you spend your dollars and time watching him do something that’s actually good like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”? You’d be supporting the better part of him instead of the weaker part of him.

    I don’t understand anymore writing off somebody ONE HUNDRED PERCENT FOREVER for being imperfect. If you don’t agree with him (I sure as shit don’t), then in your mind he’s wrong and under-enlightened. Yay for you, sucks for him. Don’t exile him, pity his attitude in this one topic. Or more usefully, if you’ve got the right answers on this subject, write him a letter and convince him yourself. Go do the heavy lifting for all of us and change the guy’s mind.

  47. Hallick says:

    “For white people, the only thing that even begins to come close to the “Big Three,” is either being called a racist, or being called a “White Devil” by any sort of black public speaker.”

    “Racist”? Nah… The only white people I’ve ever seen get as pissed about that word as black people get pissed about “nigger” is somebody who was usually being a racist. If I was walking down the street and somebody suddenly spit “Hey, RACIST” at me, I’d be confused or bewildered or startled, but it sure isn’t something that would make me cock my fist or give a guy a death stare, y’know?

    And “white devil” would probably just make me laugh for a good four to five minutes.

  48. Joe Straatmann says:

    I think only Ace Ventura gets offended at “White Devil.”

    “EQUENSU OCHA!!!!!”

  49. Triple Option says:

    Was Gary’s outburst over the Contender that widely known? Do you think there was a direct edict from Spielberg’s camp or was it more a case of studio heads “hey, I heard he went off on Spielberg, we better shelf Oldman at least until project _______ gets released, just in case”??

    When I first saw a headline about Oldman Defending Gibson, with a pull quote from him about wanting them to omit was he had said, I kinda thought he went down the rabbit hole with the intention of saying we as a society or the media goes overboard in its conviction and persecution of fallen stars but couldn’t get it to come across right. Upon reading the article, I don’t think that was the case.

    He may’ve started out with that intention or parallel argument of the need to extend forgiveness, but he totally came across angry and entitled. It was kind of a kick in the gut to read the whole thing. I wondered 1) why is he so angry and 2) what does he think he’s missing (that he thinks he SHOULD have or that he doesn’t have the ability to get despite his considerable means?)

    Mainly his argument of essentially, everyone else is just as racist, I found to be weak and fairly insulting. Even if someone can be a complete hypocrite in pointing out your flaws, if your best argument is “they do it, too” it does absolutely nothing to justify nor especially not correct your behavior. I find it very childish and self incriminating.

    It hasn’t been here, but other comments I’ve read online have, like similar issues in the past, managed to build quite a bit of backlash against the originally offended group. Paula Dean talks about her own private minstrel show and within the hour of the Food Network announcing their uncoupling African Americans are put on trial in the court of public opinion for their role in her dismissal. Doesn’t matter that Food Network acted prior to any public pressure or civic group appeal, it’s all rappers, Jesse & Sharpton’s and Obama’s fault.

    This time I’m reading stuff about Jewish people that it makes me wonder are they using this so-called controlling the media power to put words in Oldman’s mouth. And I mean literally put them in there, like ventriloquist. Like they hacked his brain when he was asleep and made him say a buncha hateful things without his knowledge. “Gary, when you go to sleep each night, you gotta hit control + Alt + Delete and lock it up to make sure no one logs into your brain and starts giving bogus interviews in your voice.”

    One side note, relating to the disparaging movie nickname title, it’d make a great Rosanne Rosannadanna bit. “Transexual people are upset for being compared to animated robots in some movie. I have to agree. Why not compare them to live, real people? And if you’re going to compare them to someone, why not Babe the pig and not a blow sheeed up actioner. Oh sure, Transformers make a lot of money but give them the decency of being compared to the critically acclaimed film? I know when I go see a big budget film there’s always som guy there picking his feet. I’m trying to eat my popcorn and the popcorn movie and I see Fred Flintstone picking bunions for his run/drive home. I mean, I thought I was going to die!” Then Chevy leans over and says “Roseanne, they’re offended by a disparaging term for transgender people is being incorporated in general lexicon without considering the ramification.” Oh, never mind.

  50. leahnz says:

    “She has more than once on this blog referred to conservatives as “sith” which are an embodiment of absolute evil.”

    oh really? more than once? i don’t think so, show where i’ve called conservatives as a group ‘sith’ MORE THAN ONCE here. look forward to the proof. i don’t remember the sith thing at all, but maybe i was loaded. this, however, is the corker:

    “Of course she will argue free speech and that she just making a joke but she argued that was invalid when someone wants to defend traditional marriage.”

    ah, “defend traditional marriage”, so the truth comes out: i called a conservative a sith because someone was BEING A MASSIVE BIGOT! hahahaha listen up MONCO, because here is where you have the typical persecution-complex disconnect:

    i’m not a bigot against you or suppressing your precious right as a white heterosexual male to free speech, i was mocking you (presumably you, or some other ‘conservative’) because YOU are a bigot expressing oppressive bigoted views about something that’s none of your damn business and has absolutely no effect on you whatsoever. see the difference? no? shocking. and say, what happened to conservatives and that whole ‘right and responsibility of the individual without government interference!’ philosophy? oh yeah, that’s for everyone except WOMEN and HOMOSEXUALS, whose bodies and relationships you must control and monitor. silly me, i forgot. hypocrite much? see, the truth is, i don’t have a lot to say about conservatives just going quietly about their business, not until conservatives try to assert their racist, sexist, homophobic values and legislate to control others in oppressive ways. asserting I’M a bigot against conservatives because i’m critical of your bigotry is inane (but you guys, rock on with your nonsensical selves, such lovebirds). ‘conservatives’ love to complain about ‘PC!’ shit and their right to free speech being impeded when people merely exercise their right to free speech in criticising them for blatant bigotry. it’s as if you’re unable to comprehend cause and effect: oppressive, bigoted attitudes lead to the use of free speech to criticise said bigotry. pretty simple yeah.

    (did you actually read the oldman article? doesn’t sound like it. triple option kind of sums up above how your apparent assumption about what oldman was trying to say is not at all what he actually said and meant, which was fairly heinous)

  51. Hcat says:

    First of all Dave is hardly in “hot water” for calling it Trannies, haven’t a few people simply pointed out thAt some might find offense? Not exactly torches and pitchforks pc run amuck. It’s been done with the same decorum as telling someone their fly is down.

    And Monco, is there no evil? Do we just accept everyone’s views as legit no matter how looney (sun revolves around the earth, traditional marriage under attack when no one has suggested outlawing straight weddings or even banning the chicken dance)

  52. Pete B. says:


    So defending traditional marriage is solely the task of the “white heterosexual male”? There are no women or males of other races involved?

    I guess the Catholic Latino population and the Baptist African-American population in my town got confused.

  53. Unfinishe says:

    to exist without persecution, but enough is enough and the time has come for enlightenment and the end to the reign of hateful bigots. so if outrage against the expression of hatred, bigotry and sexism against these specific ‘groups’ (human beings) is louder and more acute then it’s a natural swing of the pendulum because these groups have suffered disproportionate oppression and persecution in western culture

    Atheists have been persecuted for thousands of years, and consistently rank among the most mistrusted group in society. Depictions and opinions of Palestinians are much more unsavory than Jews, particularly in the United States. The same goes for Arabs in general. The handicapped have been mocked and ostracized since our ancestors came out of the trees, but when Obama makes a crack about his bowling on The Tonight Show (and quickly apologizes), it’s just a one-day news cycle, not an indicator of a heart of darkness.

    While I have no love for Oldman’s politics, or especially his favorite political commenter, he’s not unjustified in getting upset at the hypocrisy. It might be comforting to think blacks, Jews, and gays have tier one status because they’ve been oppressed more, but it’s because they have the political and cultural infrastructure to strike back.

    Can we say the same for Latinos, who have, frankly, had to endure a lot of crap over the past decade with the resurgence of anti-immigration blather?

    Conservatives defending Gibson made a good comparison to Roman Polanski. Gibson was fired off Hangover II(?) for his racist and misogynistic comments, but Mike Tyson got a complete pass? That guy has said some of the most vile things about women, and even went to prison for rape.

  54. SamLowry says:

    Gee, I suspect Bay might be a tad bit sexist:

    7 Ways to Tell You’re a Woman in a Michael Bay Movie.

  55. cadavra says:

    Is it possible Leah mistyped, and meant to refer to conservatives as “shit” instead of “sith?” 😀

  56. Daniella Isaacs says:

    Why even mention HENRY & JUNE? Wasn’t Oldman in that for something like ten seconds? And according to IMDb, he was in it under a pseudonym: Maurice Escargot.

  57. SamLowry says:

    I had to stare at this picture for nearly a minute before I figured out what “the funny” was supposed to be; I guess that shows just how innocuous “cracker” is as an insult.

    And as for calling conservatives “sith”, over at I was explaining how Los Bros Koch and their plutocratic homies are trying to bring back slavery, so I’d say “sith” isn’t even remotely strong enough.

    (What do you think you’re going to wind up with if you cut minimum wage, benefits, hours, the jobs themselves, then label anyone who protests a terrorist?)

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon