Actor Gary Oldman did an interview with Playboy Magazine (NSFW pics on the page) wherein he said controversial things about society, political correctness and hypocrisy. He also said a lot of other stuff about his life and career in a way that was unvarnished and pleasing to me, but we’re focusing on the juicy stuff because the internet.
Here’s Oldman on the downfall of society:
“Culturally, politically, everywhere you look. I look at the world, I look at our leadership and I look at every aspect of our culture and wonder what will make it better. I have no idea. Any night of the week you only need to turn on one of these news channels and watch for half an hour. Read the newspaper. Go online. Our world has gone to hell. I listen to the radio and hear about these lawsuits and about people like this high school volleyball coach who took it upon herself to get two students to go undercover to do a marijuana bust. You’re a fucking volleyball coach! This is not 21 Jump Street.
Or these helicopter parents who overschedule their children. There’s never any unsupervised play to develop skills or learn about hierarchy in a group or how to share. The kids honestly believe they are the center of the fucking universe. But then they get out into the real world and it’s like, “Shit, maybe it’s not all about me,” and that leads to narcissism, depression and anxiety. These are just tiny examples, grains of sand in a vast desert of what’s fucked-up in our world right now. As for the people who pass for heroes in entertainment today, don’t even get me started. […]
It’s like the old saying about mediocrity: The mediocre are always at their best. They never let you down. Reality TV to me is the museum of social decay. And what passes for music—it’s all on that plateau. Who’s the hero for young people today? Some idiot who can’t fucking sing or write or who’s shaking her ass and twerking in front of 11-year-olds.”
Here’s Oldman on political correctness, hypocrisy, Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin.
“I just think political correctness is crap. That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a fucking joke. Get over it. I heard about a science teacher who was teaching that God made the earth and God made everything and that if you believe anything else you’re stupid. A Buddhist kid in the class got very upset about this, so the parents went in and are suing the school! The school is changing its curriculum! I thought, All right, go to the school and complain about it and then that’s the end of it. But they’re going to sue! No one can take a joke anymore.
I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say “the N word” and “the F word,” though there are two F words now. […]
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. So they persecute. 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 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, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?”
As it does, the internet had a mostly negative reaction to all of this and so did I… to that reaction, which was represented by snap judgements on Twitter with people calling Oldman a racist and insinuating that he is crazy, as well as click-baity articles that use adjectives like “shocking” while calling his remarks a “tirade” and a “rant”.
Now, I had it in my head that I would write this long drawn out thing about this, but I’ve already sort of said my piece about censorship and hyper-sensitivity and the PC thing. Besides that, I also remembered that I wanted to watch Tim Burton’s Batman so I could write an article about that and that sounded like a lot more fun, so instead of spending a few hours articulating my thoughts, I took to twitter to make my own snap judgement and then copy and pasted those thoughts into this article with its click-baity headline.
In hindsight, do I wish that I had taken a moment to refine my words a little? Perhaps, but in that Oldman didn’t get that chance to clean up all of the things that he said, why should I?