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NEW YORK – The Anti-Defamation League on Monday slammed filmmaker Oliver Stone for comments he made to the Sunday Times in the U.K., calling them anti-Semitic.
Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said: “Oliver Stone has once again shown his conspiratorial colors with his comments about “Jewish domination of the media” and control over U.S. foreign policy. His words conjure up some of the most stereotypical and conspiratorial notions of undue Jewish power and influence.”
Stone issued an apology Monday afternoon. “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,” Stone said in a statement.
When asked in an interview with the Sunday Times of London why there was “such a focus on the Holocaust,” Stone replied: “The Jewish domination of the media.” He added: “They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years.”
The American Jewish Committee also weighed in Monday, comparing Stone to Mel Gibson. “By invoking this grotesque, toxic stereotype, Oliver Stone has outed himself as an anti-Semite,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “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.”
The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants also released a statement Monday. “We are deeply offended. These are words of hate and a disgraceful evocation of anti-Semitism. Shame on Oliver Stone.”
Times of London articles are behind a paywall, but that didn’t stop many publications from reprinting the quotes.
Stone made his comments in the context of discussing his new documentary, “South of the Border,” which concerns Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
This isn’t the first time Stone has made controversial comments about the Holocaust. In January, he characterized Hitler as an “easy scapegoat” in a presentation to TV critics in support of his upcoming Showtime miniseries “Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America.”
Stone’s comments even echoed in Israel, where Yuli Edelstein, minister of diaspora affairs and public diplomacy, weighed in. “When a man of Stone’s stature says such things, it could lead to a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, and it may even cause real harm to Jewish communities and individuals.”
“Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry,” Stone’s statement continued. “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.”