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Gary Oldman apologizes to Anti-Defamation League for defending Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin

Actor Gary Oldman attends the

Actor Gary Oldman attends the "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 19, 2014, in Anaheim, California. Credit: Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian

The Anti-Defamation League Wednesday dismissed as "insufficient" an apology by actor Gary Oldman for remarks the advocacy group found anti-Semitic.

"While his apology may be heartfelt," ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement, "Mr. Oldman does not understand why his words about Jewish control were so damaging and offensive, and it is therefore insufficient. . . . [He] needs to make clear . . . that his words are predicated on offensive notions and, as such, are clearly unacceptable."

Oldman, 56, interviewed in the new issue of Playboy, criticized what he called the "hypocrisy" of "political correctness," giving among several examples Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rant during a 2006 arrest. "He got drunk and said a few things, but we've all said those things. . . . 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. . . . "

Oldman later apologized, saying, in part, "I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview were offensive to many Jewish people. . . . I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype."

Adding that he had just read Neal Gabler's book "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews invented Hollywood," Oldman said, "The fact is that our business, and my own career specifically, owes an enormous debt to that contribution."

"His reference to the Neal Gabler book . . . only reinforces the notion that Jewish directors, producers and financiers are there in Hollywood as Jews," Foxman responded. "They're not, and the book does not draw that conclusion. They are there acting as individuals. They do not pursue a Jewish agenda or strategy."

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