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Men Saying Dumb Things in Playboy Interviews: A History

Photo: Getty

Yesterday, Playboy published a long interview with Gary Oldman that has made the rounds today because of his comments on Mel Gibson and celebrities’ relationship with the public eye. Oldman isn’t the first celeb to get heat for being too candid in the magazine’s pages. Here are ten other stars who ruffled some feathers after sitting down with Playboy.

1965: Sean Connery
Connery was in the middle of his James Bond moment when Playboy interviewed him. The actor went off script about halfway through, interjecting opinions about how to discipline women. “I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman,” he said. “An openhanded slap is justified — if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it.” Sean Connery: a total charmer.

1971: John Wayne
The most popular Western film actor of all time, Wayne had plenty to say about the decline of the movie industry in his late-in-life, career-spanning Playboy cover story. In his words, Hollywood had gone perverted: “Wouldn’t you say that the wonderful love of those two men in Midnight Cowboy, a story about two fags, qualifies?”

He also went on to share his views on skin color. “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,” he said. “I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.” Yeesh, pilgrim.

1976: Jimmy Carter
Voters complained en masse after Carter’s widely circulated comments about infidelity: “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times,” he told the magazine as a nation winced.

1995: Snoop Dogg
In the middle of a conversation about drive-by shootings, Playboy writer Dave Sheff asked Snoop Dogg the question, “So innocent bystanders are fair game[?]” Snoop responded accordingly: “Shit, yes. If you’re trying to get somebody and this might be the only time you’re going to catch him, but he is holding his baby and with his mama, you ain’t gonna let that chance go by. That’s the mentality of the streets. If you let that chance go by, he might catch your ass.” Later in the piece, Snoop called the situation hell, but still, it’s hard to blunt the impact of his initial statement.

2004: Colin Farrell
Fresh off the heels of Daredevil and Alexander, Farrell dove deep into his widely publicized affinity for drugs. “Heroin is fine in moderation,” he said in an aside. He later called the comment one of his biggest regrets.

2010: John Mayer
The singer famously commented on masturbation and some of his most-talked-about relationships in this widely circulated Playboy interview. After noting that he’d rather, erm, spend time alone with himself than be with a woman, Mayer told the writer that Jessica Simpson — an ex — was like “sexual napalm.” Of his sexual proclivities, he said, “My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.” John Mayer said that. He also described a New Years Eve kiss with blogger Perez Hilton, claiming, “All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody — almost as if I hated fags.” Someone please invent the Men in Black memory eraser quickly so we can flush this interview out.

2014: Ben Affleck
The actor has certainly had a roller-coaster relationship with the press, but in an interview earlier this year — soon after the news broke that he’d been tapped to play Batman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming movie — he revisited his “Bennifer” years with disdain. “At the nadir of that [relationship] I felt I was being treated worse than Scott Peterson, who at least got the benefit of the word alleged when they talked about him.”

When the interviewer responded, “he’s the guy who—,” Affleck came back with the following: “murdered his wife and tossed her over the side of a boat. The point is I felt like I was at the bottom. I became the guy people could kick around, even if they hadn’t seen the movie, because they saw other people taking shots. I thought it was unfair. But some of those people later wrote nice things about my work. I’ve learned not to take it personally.” Yes, Ben, it definitely feels like you haven’t taken the scrutiny personally.

2014: Gary Oldman
At last, we’ve reached the man who sparked this entire list. You’ve almost certainly seen the headlines today touching upon some of Oldman’s fieriest comments, but here’s a selection of them for your perusal.

On Philip Seymour Hoffman: “I don’t mean this disrespectfully, but maybe he looked in the mirror and always saw that very pale sort of fat kid.”

On Mel Gibson: “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. Or maybe I should strike that and say ‘the N word’ and ‘the F word,’ though there are two F words now.”

On Alec Baldwin: “Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute.”

On political correctness and double standards: “It’s our culture now, absolutely. At the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave you were a racist.”

On the Golden Globes: “They’re fucking ridiculous. There’s nothing going on at all. It’s 90 nobodies having a wank. Everybody’s getting drunk, and everybody’s sucking up to everybody. Boycott the fucking thing. Just say we’re not going to play this silly game with you anymore.”

On Nancy Pelosi: “Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a cunt — and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless cunt — I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it.”

Men Saying Dumb Things to Playboy: A History