My worst fears about trial by media have come true. The fact I’ve been right all along doesn’t bring any kind of satisfaction. On the contrary, I’m sick of it.
Forget that any case that attracts the media’s spotlight the way it does today cannot be fair to the accused. The jury is out there reading all those articles and blogs that present one side of every case and have already declared the accused 100% guilty and then some more. Forget the Presumption of Innocence as basic, human right earned centuries ago. All those are so passé in the 21st century.
The presumption of innocence seems easily forgotten in the so-called “court of public opinion”. When high-profile criminal cases capture media attention, the public opinion seems to sway towards presuming the person is guilty – before he even steps foot inside a courtroom to have a judge or jury determine whether or not he is guilty. This ‘presumption of guilt’ in the public’s opinion can be devastating to reputations; careers; families, and almost every other aspect of life. Even if eventually found ‘not guilty’ in a court of law, recovering from a public smearing of one’s name and reputation may prove impossible.
So. Gary Oldman is nominated for an Academy Award in the category Leading Actor for The Darkest Hour. As always, there are people who think he didn’t give the best performance of the year and he shouldn’t win the Awards. So far, all well. Personally, I still hold a grunge against the Academy for Robert Downey Jr. losing to Al Pacino some 25 years ago. However, that’s one thing and what is happening today is another.
Gary Oldman is in the spotlight; everything he has said and done is put under a microscope so he can be presented as the worst male to have walked this Earth in the last 59 years (he plays Churchill as well).
When his playboy interview had been published back in 2014, I have written an essay explaining to the dim-witted what he had meant (but then I deleted the blog), not that it would have made much sense to them because…. words offend, people are offended by new words every day and words that weren’t offending last week are offending today. If you know what I mean. The only reason I know this is because I have observed tumblr since 2011. For example, gay men who don’t want to have sex with FtM are transphobic. Stephen Fry is transphobic. Thus social media claims. Now, I could be wrong. Social media see things different today than how my generation saw things when I was a teenager (mid 90s to mid 00s). And I sometimes have trouble following all these changes. Some of these changes seem ridiculous to me and kind of insulting (eg. the statement «some men have uterus» seems misogynistic to me. So sue me. Again, I could be wrong….) That was my education, that’s Stephen Fry’s sexual orientation, he most probably doesn’t want to have sex with a male with a vagina. What can he do? See the man and not his reproductive organs? Not possible. See? Here I’m not politically correct. Here, I’m conservative. Here…. I am wrong. I have been wrong my whole life. Why? Because society changes. Because some people try to change society and as we stand now, I’m not sure if it’s for the best or the worst. But, calling Stephen Fry transphobic for not wanting to have sex with a guy with female reproductive organs isn’t homophobic as well?
But I digress. What I meant to write is that Gary Oldman’s interview was not Politically Correct. Gary Oldman himself said he doesn’t like Political Correctness that comes hand to hand with double standards.
Gary Oldman was born in the late 1950s, that’s about 60 years ago. I’m about 30 years (well, 28) younger than him and can’t follow those changes easily. Imagine him. Now, it’s no one’s job to educate either me or Mr. Oldman. That’s down to us and if we respect human rights we will do it. We will see to those who feel are not treated equally and not ridicule them but help create a society where everyone is treated in the same way. And after he gave that interview and was called out on his comments about Hollywood being run by Jewish people and Mel Gibson bit the hand that fed him or Alec Baldwin calling someone a «fag» being ostracised while everyone does it, he apologised. However, how many people born in late 50s/early 60s do it? Was it double standards? And of course in the last 4 years PC has moved on to comedy/stand up comedy as well, and yes, comedians have to be politically correct if they don’t want to be dragged in social media as racist, homophobic, sexist or misogynistic. Four years ago, when Mr. Oldman gave that interview they could still make such jokes. This is how fast society changes. Today, they can’t.
But Gary Oldman apologised for his Playboy interview. For whatever reason; it might have been a heartfelt apology or not. But he apologised. And despite his age and the era he became a man, he might have learnt his error as well. Which is how society changes. By learning and becoming better.
And now he’s an Academy Award Nominee so social media and media bring up that interview to prove he shouldn’t win because he’s racist. And I don’t have a problem with social media as much as I have a problem with media. Media have power and as I said before, it’s clear they want to be the big Boss of Hollywood so everyone in Hollywood shares their beliefs, no other opinion to be heard, everyone with controversial opinion should be gagged, not to work and definitely not to be awarded for it. As if we can no longer enjoy someone’s art if we disagree with their opinions….
And to get into this blog’s main thought for the last year and a half, Gary Oldman was accused by his ex wife Donya Fiorentino for domestic abuse sometime in the early 00s during their divorce and custody of their two kids’ battle.
It was the daily beast and Ira Madison III who started the long line of articles about Gary Oldman’s «Dark Past». Basically it rehearsed the playboy interview and he abuse accusation and of course came up with the idea that no! Gary Oldman should never win because #metoo.
«For his part, Oldman vehemently denied the allegations and claimed, “[the accusations are] replete with lies, innuendoes and half-truths.”
But even if we are to give Oldman the benefit of the doubt in his case»….
«It’s not just that Oldman makes excuses for bad behavior in Hollywood; it’s that he’s been accused of engaging in bad behavior himself and called others hypocritical for being offended.»
So, basically he doesn’t give him the benefit of the doubt, he uses the accusation to make him look bad on top of making the «racist, homophobic, misogynistic» comments.
«As more and more instances of abuse are brought to light in Hollywood, and its members claim they want to bring about change, what is to be done about Oldman? Ignore it and consider it “the past,” or force him to address the situation in a way that Affleck never had to?
At some point, change will mean addressing all of Hollywood’s ghosts—not just the ones who are cartoonishly monstrous like Weinstein and Spacey.»
Everyone in social media and some so-called journalists use this unbiased piece (sic) of reporting (LOL) as the absolute truth.
Just this week, Vox ruminated Mr. Madison’s article.
«Oldman has denied Fiorentino’s claims, saying through a representative that the police investigated her story and pressed no charges.»
Just today, the Independent tweeted
linking to this article:
The article shares tweets of people who think Gary Oldman should not win the Academy Award because he abused his wife.
And most of these tweets have a #timesup or #metoo hashtag.
The difference between this article and the two above is that the author of it adds:
«In 2002, Fiorentino claimed in court documents that the actor beat her with a telephone during an argument. Oldman has always denied these allegations and the court gave Oldman sole custody of their two sons.»
in small letters because we can’t have people actually noticing this little detail, while his ex-wife’s description of the «abuse» the court examined and found never happened is written in large, black, heavy font to make a bigger impression to the poor
sheep ahem reader.
But here’s the thing. The accusations against Gary Oldman were made during the divorce and custody battle and after a lengthy state investigation and trial, Oldman was granted sole legal and physical custody of the sons, and Fiorentino was only allowed occasional state-monitored visits.
Basically, the court has not only ruled that Oldman was innocent of the abuse accusations, but clearly deemed his ex-wife unfit to both look after her children or to even be alone with them.
You don’t have to be a super genius to understand that. You can just google what «supervised visitation» means. And it means nothing good about Mr. Oldman’s ex-wife.
I don’t know if her addiction problems could have hurt her kids (her first husband was granted custody of their kid as well), but the Judge clearly thought so. But according to media and social media the villain here is Gary Oldman.
I also saw many people calling him still an «alleged» abuser as if a trial hasn’t taken place 15 years ago and was proven to be not guilty.
So, in case you haven’t noticed we haven’t only thrown Presumption of innocence to the rubbish bin, but journalists, media, social media declare people who proved their case to the Court and were found not guilty, guilty.
If that is not witch-hunt, then what is it?
#timesup becomes more and more scary if it continues like this.
Break a leg, Mr. Oldman. Hope he takes the little statue home tonight. He surely deserves it.
Gary Oldman survived abuse, alcoholism and raised two of his three sons on his own. He’s one of the best actors we have. He’s a British working-class actor -one of the last, as a matter of fact. He’s far stronger than the slandering and media hate.
In 1958, actors were the vanguard of British social mobility – now they symbolise its breakdown. The point is not that the next Gary Oldman might be working at Sports Direct. The point is he or she could be there forever. And they will win no Oscars, because unlike Oldman, they will have to know their place.
Danny Leigh, 15 January 2018
I guess this is why media try so hard that even Oldman knows his place. A working-class British actor who worked damned hard to reach the top.