Never one for nuance, over the weekend director Oliver Stone allowed a London Times reporter to catalog his various musings on how Jews control the media, why Israel is responsible for America’s “messed-up” foreign policy, and why Hitler got a bad rap—and for some reason, it came out sounding kind of anti-Semitic. Stone made the comments while ostensibly promoting his documentary South Of The Border, which will finally make the world fall in love with Hugo Chavez. During the interview, Stone began discussing his upcoming Showtime series Secret History Of America and ended up defending Hitler, as one is wont to do:
“Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein," he said. "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."
The remarks were similar to those he made to the British press in January, when Stone called Hitler “an easy scapegoat”—a comment that earned him some harsh reprisal from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. And while Stone’s comments have some kernel of truth to them (except, perhaps, the idea that in a battle of “Who did World War II suck for the most?” Russia would objectively win out over those who died in the Holocaust, which some would probably take issue with), he unfortunately couched them in an accusation, saying that the reason no one ever brings this up is that “the Jewish domination of the media” makes sure of it.
Naturally, those comments have provoked some outrage—not least from the American Jewish Committee, who issued a press release saying, “By invoking this grotesque, toxic stereotype, Oliver Stone has outed himself as an anti-Semite.” Stone himself was quick to respond, releasing the following statement last night:
“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.”
So that’s all better, right?