Director Oliver Stone has issued a statement apologizing for comments he made to the Sunday Times of London regarding the Holocaust and what he called “Jewish domination of the media.”
“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 released by his publicist. “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.”
In the Sunday Times interview promoting his new documentary South of the Border, Stone veered into discussion of the Holocaust, saying, “Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein. 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.”
Stone also referred to “Jewish domination of the media,” saying Israel “f***** up United States foreign policy for years.”
The American Jewish Committee released a statement condemning Stone’s remarks. “By invoking this grotesque, toxic stereotype, Oliver Stone has outed himself as an anti-Semite,” the group’s executive director, David Harris, said in a statement. “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.”
Following Stone’s apology, issued Monday night, the New York-based American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants said in a statement: “His apology was necessary and we accept it. But whether he acted out of sincerity or as a desperate response to the moral outcry at his comments is an open question. He must be judged by his future words and deeds.”
This latest event follows statements Stone made in January when he said Hitler is “an easy scapegoat throughout history” in a presentation to TV critics supporting his miniseries Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America.