Gary Oldman Apologizes on 'Jimmy Kimmel' in a Jonah Hill Move That Feels Surprisingly Authentic — VIDEO
Late night talk shows are apparently the new medium of the celebrity apology. In an almost exact homage to Jonah Hill's apology for using a homophobic slur on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Gary Oldman appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to apologize for the Playboy interview that offended basically everyone. Oldman issued an apology yesterday to the Anti-Defamation League, but they were just as quick to tell him, in a very polite way, to stuff it. Admittedly, Oldman's apology missed the entire point of what he was trying to apologize for, so already he has a leg up on Jonah Hill, whose second apology on Late Night was a superfluous addition to his first.
Oldman seemed genuinely remorseful during his Jimmy Kimmel appearance, hardly able to meet anyone's eye as he stared down at his hands and took small pauses to get his words exactly right as he said them. This was in stark contrast to his Playboy interview, during which Oldman was ironically quoted saying that you had to be very careful with what you said while he was in the midst of saying or supporting racist things. "Once I saw [my statements] in print," said Oldman during Jimmy Kimmel. "I saw that it was insensitive, pernicious and ill-informed."
Although Kimmel tried to keep the general tone of the interview light, Oldman was determined to make the world understand just how sorry he was. He apologized to the people that he had offended and to his fans — apparently affectionately known as Team Oldman — particularly to the young ones who looked to him as a role model.
"We're public figures and... sometimes we're asked to be social or political commentators and, I can't speak for other people, but I'm not. Clearly," said Oldman. "And I stepped out of my area of expertise and I just landed both feet in a hornet's nest."
"Yeah, in general, they say defending Mel Gibson is not a good thing to do in any way," Kimmel pointed out with a laugh.
Though Kimmel tried to help Oldman clarify the point he had been trying to make during the Playboy interview about the hypocrisy that can be inherent in political correctness, Oldman proved that he had finally learned the greatest lesson of all. It doesn't matter what he was trying to say. His point is literally the last thing on anyone's mind right now. What matters is what he actually said and how it came across to people, which isn't something that his good or innocuous intentions can really explain away.
There's still no excuse for celebrities when they find themselves in the situation of trying to apologize for their insensitive actions or remarks. It's not a public responsibility to forgive them just because they're sorry nor will their apologies immediately render what they've done invalid. However, as far as apologies go, Gary Oldman's Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance marks one that feels much more powerful and effective than Wednesday's written statement. Finally, Oldman seems to be on the same page as those he has offended and that, at least, is a huge step forward.
Watch the interview below.