Late yesterday Gary Oldman apologized for going too far in his just-published Playboy interview by defending the mouthy Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin, both of whom have gotten into trouble for using politically incorrect terminology regarding gays and Jews. Oldman said he was especially sorry for saying Gibson’s situation was exacerbated because he works “in a town that is run by Jews.”

Oldman apology: “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 [can] 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.”

Oldman translation: “Neal Gabler can say that Jews run (or have run) Hollywood because he’s a Jew who’s made this statement in the context of a scholarly historical study of Hollywood that everyone respects. But I can’t say the same thing because (a) I’m not a Jew but a conservative-minded South London working-class bloke, (b) I haven’t written a scholarly historical study of Hollywood that everyone respects, and (c) I made the mistake of bringing up this cultural assertion while discussing Mel Gibson, who became an un-person in this town when it was revealed that he harbors anti-Semitic views while drunk. Behind closed doors and over cigars and brandy powerful people always discuss others in terms of their tribal tendencies and interests and what their alliances and prejudices probably are as a result. But you can’t talk this bluntly in public and it was my error to assume I could do so in an interview. My bad.”