Report: Oliver Stone Went on Anti-Israel Rant on Colbert's Show That Didn't Air

Oliver Stone / AP
June 14, 2017

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone went on an anti-Israel rant that did not make it to air during his panned appearance Monday on the CBS comedy program "The Late Show."

Stone appeared on Stephen Colbert's show to promote his Showtime series "The Putin Interviews." Stone defended Vladimir Putin to boos from the audience, and he said in an unaired portion that Israel "had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia," according to Page Six.

The report added Stone wanted Colbert to ask him about Israel, to which Colbert replied, "I'll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel!"

The portion that aired was unusually tense for a "Late Show" interview, as Colbert pressed Stone over the "fawning" tone of his Putin interviews. They were conducted over the course of 20 hours in a two-year span, and the Washington Post described the previews: "If the glimpse so far is any indication, the Oscar winner lobbed a lot of softballs at the Russian leader and took the dictator's words at face value."

Stone said one has to be "polite" in defense of a clip in which he simply accepted Putin's claim that he did not interfere in the 2016 U.S election, which 17 U.S. intelligence agencies said did happen.

"That doesn't seem like an interview," Colbert said. "That seems like an opportunity for him to merely propagandize."

Stone, who has expressed open affection for far-left strongmen like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, defended Putin as a "strong nationalist" who is "devoted to his country."

"I'm amazed at his calmness, his courtesy," Stone said. "He never really said anything bad about anybody. He's been through a lot. He's been insulted and abused."

Some in the crowd mockingly laughed and booed when Stone suggested the autocratic Putin had been "abused," to which he defensively said Putin was abused in the press. Colbert asked whether Stone had anything negative to say about Putin, joking that the Russians perhaps kidnapped his dog.

Stone became visibly frustrated with the crowd and Colbert over their stance, at one point snapping he did not know why the audience laughed at his description of Putin as a "social conservative."

He also claimed support for freedom of speech, to which Colbert shot back that Putin seemed an unusual person to defend given accusations he has faced of killing journalists.