The PJ Tatler

Gary Oldman & the Right's Latent Antisemitism

We all know by now that actor Gary Oldman denounced political correctness in his recent interview with Playboy magazine. However, if you’re only a reader of conservative news sources, you most likely aren’t aware of the fact that Oldman dropped the n-word repeatedly, used a grotesque and derogatory slang word for the female anatomy, and included one of the oldest and most offensive Jewish American stereotypes in his rant:

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. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That f***ing kraut” or “F*** 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, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?”

Conservative news readers couldn’t possibly be aware of these immoral platitudes because the story was covered in right-wing media with the following headlines:

Conservative Star Gary Oldman Denounces Liberal Hollywood, Hillary Clinton

Scott Whitlock, the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center, published a report in NewsBusters that focused on Oldman’s anti-Hillary comments and criticism of Obama. Whitlock prefaced Oldman’s quote about Pelosi being a “c**t” with the statement, “In the Playboy interview, Oldman used offensive and vulgar language to complain about political correctness.” The article was promoted on Facebook with the following statement: “What this Hollywood Star Just Said About Liberals Will Make You Stand and Cheer.”

Gary Oldman Rails Against PC “Crap,” Liberal Double Standards in Hollywood

Josh Feldman at Mediaite made Oldman’s grotesque comment regarding Nancy Pelosi the centerpiece of his short coverage of the now infamous Playboy interview. But when it came to the Hollywood Jews, he summarized Oldman’s antisemitic rant down to, “He said so many ‘f***ing hypocrites’ condemned Gibson, but they privately use words like he did.”

Gary Oldman Attacks Outrage Culture in Playboy, Gets Outraged Response

Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist crowed about reading “the entire interview” and quoted several excerpts, except for the ones about the Jews who run Hollywood, n*****s, and f*gs. Because those wouldn’t really help support her point that “people lost their everliving minds” over Oldman’s belief that “political correctness is crap,” a belief Hemingway and her editors at the Federalist wholeheartedly share.

Famous Actor’s Fiery Rant Against “Political Correctness,” Hollywood Double Standards — and His Theoretical Nancy Pelosi Joke Will Make Jaws Drop

Jason Howerton’s story from The Blaze did not originally include the comments. It was later “updated with additional comments from Oldman’s interview,” including the Hollywood comment that every other conservative-leaning news outlet I’ve found so far has failed to print.

When I confronted conservative friends over their defense of Oldman’s commentary, I was told that I was “getting my panties in a bunch” over being “noogie’d” for the greater good of the anti-PC campaign. When I asked what the dividing line was between being anti-PC and pro-antisemitism, I was told that I was insinuating that my friends were antisemitic, and therefore I should issue them an apology. Again, I pressed the question and, again, I received the same response: In essence, I was being a touchy, oversensitive Jew.

Which is funny, because that is the same response I received when I was first confronted with the “Jews run the media” stereotype by two very non-conservative graduate students who had no problem waiting until we were alone to ask me, “Why are there so many of you in the media?” When I replied that Hollywood was built by Jewish businessmen who weren’t permitted to become doctors or lawyers because of racial laws and cultural traditions, they simply exchanged a knowing look, as if I was expected to produce this pre-programmed and obviously fallacious response.

Once again, a decade later, I was confronted with the same reaction: I was once again producing a pre-programmed, obvious fallacious, and definitely outrageous response to an antisemitic slur. Only, this time, I received this reaction from the people who are supposed to be on my team.

In the wrapup commentary, Mark Tapson at Acculturated portrayed the entire incident as a series of minority groups (“Jewish websites bashed Oldman’s apparent Gibson-defending”) creating “internet noise” that “overshadowed some more interesting and insightful bits” that “may have sparked a necessary conversation.”

As the only Jew in the room who seems willing to confront this gross antisemitism within party ranks (hello, Commentary, anyone home?) I’ll be happy to start the necessary conversation Tapson is looking for: There is a gross undercurrent of antisemitism within the Right. When are you — Republicans, Tea Partiers, Conservatives, et. al. — going to start getting your panties in a bunch about it?


image via shutterstock / Helga Esteb