Oliver Stone started a “cringe-worthy” fight about Israel with Stephen Colbert on the latter’s CBS show that never made it on-air.
A Page Six source who was in the audience for the taping of the network’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Monday told us that the political spat was “painful to watch.”
The audience member explained that as Colbert pressed Oscar winner Stone — who was promoting his new Vladimir Putin Showtime series, “The Putin Interviews” — on his apparent sympathy for the Russian president in spite of claims about Russian interference in the US election, Stone, at a disadvantage, tried to shift the talk to Israel.
The source said they “watched from behind [their] hands” as Stone said words to the effect of: “Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia.”
The “Platoon” director further challenged Colbert by saying, “Why don’t you ask me about that?” — but we’re told that the host shot back, “I’ll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel!”
(The source described Stone’s Israeli argument as “a classic anti-Semitic canard.”)
Meanwhile, the parts of the discussion that did make it to air Monday night were called “fiery,” “tense” and “bizarre” by critics.
The tête-á-tête seemed to go off the rails when the audience groaned with incredulity as Stone swooned about Putin, “He’s been through a lot. He’s been insulted and abused . . . abused in the press, in the media.”
They cheered when Colbert said, “Anything about him negative that you found? Anything? Anything?” Colbert also asked, “What do you say to the people who will say this is a fawning interview of a brutal dictator?”
Said our source: “Colbert was great. He wouldn’t let Stone get away with anything.” Stone sat there looking, well, stone-faced.
The filmmaker spoke with Putin on a series of occasions between July 2015 and February 2017 for his four-part series, which premiered Monday.
Reps for CBS and Stone declined to comment.
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