Published July 27, 2010
Filmmaker Oliver Stone has apologized after critics slammed him for making comments that were interpreted as anti-Semitic in an interview last Sunday.
While promoting his documentary “South of the Border” with The Sunday Times of London, Stone not only defended Hitler, but also downplayed the Holocaust.
“Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein,” Stone, who is half Jewish, told the paper. “German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support. Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people.”
This year, while promoting his Showtime documentary “A Secret History of America,” Stone said “Hitler was an easy scapegoat.”
Later, he complained about the “Jewish domination of the media,” saying, “there’s a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f**ked up United States foreign policy for years.”
On Monday afternoon, Stone issued the following statement in an attempt to appease the situation:
"In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret.
"Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity -- and it was an atrocity."
But Stone’s apology may be too little, too late for his critics, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and the American Jewish Committee, who said Stone’s comments have outed him as an anti-Semite.
"For all of Stone's progressive pretensions, his remark is no different from one of the drunken, Jew-hating rants of his fellow Hollywood celebrity, Mel Gibson," a spokesman for the American Jewish Committee said.
For his comments on Israel foreign policy, Stone earned the criticism of Israel Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein, who said his comments “could lead to a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, and it may even cause real harm to Jewish communities and individuals.”