Oliver Stone has issued a mea culpa after setting off a firestorm with insensitive remarks about Hitler.
“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 L.A. Times reports Stone said.
“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.”
Stone, whose father was Jewish, was being interviewed about his new leftist documentary “South of the Border” when he said that Jewish control of the media has prevented a more nuanced understanding of Hitler. According to the Times, his remarks may have been taken out of context: What he meant to say was “there were other forces that should be apportioned a lot more of the blame for World War II deaths.”
Throughout the day, Jewish groups from the Anti-Defamation League to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance to American Jewish Committee condemned Stone’s remarks, accusing him of anti-Semitism. Eventually, Stone succumbed to the pressure and recanted.
But as the Times reports, this is not the first time Stone has stoked controversy regarding Hitler:
[Last] January, while promoting his Showtime program “Secret History of America,” he said that Hitler was an “easy scapegoat” — prompting many of his critics to say that the director’s theories about American international relations go deeper than his favored topic of leftist politics in the latter half of the 20th century.
As the high holidays approach, we are reminded that forgiveness is a quality of the Jewish character; forgetting, however, is not.
Read more on the Oliver Stone controversy here.