Julie Christie played a woman with Alzheimer’s in the movie “Away from Her.” I’m questioning her mental faculties now. She’s signed a letter drafted by noted anti-Semite and anti-Israel proponent Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. The letter criticizes rocker Nick Cave for playing in Israel.
The letter is also signed by British directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, American activist Angela Davis, and minor rocker Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth as well as a bunch of Brits we’ve never heard of.
Waters has tried to intimidate other rockers including Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello, but they’ve ignored him, as have the Rolling Stones. Waters belongs to an anti-Israel group called BDS, which I believe stands for Big Dumb Shits.
I feel bad for Julie Christie, I was a fan of hers 40 years ago. That’s over. I do think it’s time to boycott Pink Floyd and Waters, no more Dark Side of the Moon or Another Brick in the Wall. This kind of behavior only advances anti-Semitism at every level. Acts of anti-Semitism are up all over the world. The perpetrators will only feel emboldened by celebrities giving their approval.
The same goes for a July 2017 letter signed by some artists over the performance of an Israeli play at Lincoln Center. Among the signers were actress/director Greta Gerwig, who’s got “Lady Bird” in the Oscar mix, and actor-playwright Tracey Letts, who’s also in “Lady Bird.” Gerwig has since renounced the letter but I suspect that had to do with fear of ruining the Oscar shot for her movie. Among the others who stupidly signed that letter were Wally Shawn, Andre Gregory, Kathleen Chalfant, Sam Gold, Lynn Nottage and former Focus Features head James Schamus. They have not retracted their signatures.
This sort of insipid, brewing anti-Semitism is just as bad as anything Mel Gibson has said or done. And that brings me to Gary Oldman, who has recently tried to apologize for a statement he made in 2014 about Gibson. Oldman said in a Playboy interview: “I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word ‘nigger’ or ‘that fucking Jew’? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy.”
Oldman added: “Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him – and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough,” said the British actor. “He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, ‘That fucking kraut’ or ‘Fuck those Germans,’ whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going ‘Isn’t that shocking?'”
Oldman has offered an apology to the Anti-Defamation League but I suspect that, too, was because Oldman was warned of the consequences of his statement hurting his own Oscar chances.
As bad as the sexual harassment charges are over the last six weeks against various people in Hollywood, anti-semitism is its equal in every way. There are no gold statues in the offing for people who perpetuate hate.