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Comments by YACCS
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mel's got problems

What? A Brown shirt. an armband.
what's the big deal?

Nikki Finke, who is an insanely well connected Hollywood reporter, , is saying Gibson is in real trouble here. And if she's saying it, I'd place credence in it .The New Yorker did a story on the Pelicano case, which may gut Hollywood over wiretaps, which started when he threatened her over a story which suggested that Steven Segal made a movie with mob money


Among the allegations within's four pages, Gibson "angrily stated" that "'My life is fucked'" and "became fixated on his notoriety and concern that the incident was going to be publicized." The celebrity became "belligerent' and "threatened" the deputy, saying "'I'm going to fuck you. You're going to regret you ever did this to me.'" Then, Gibson "blurted out a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks about 'Fucking Jews.' Yelled out 'The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.' Then asked, 'Are you a Jew.' Conduct concerned and frightened me to a point. I called ahead to the station requesting a sergeant meet the arrival of my patrol car in the station parking lot..."

As soon as TMZ's Internet pages surfaced about Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic slurs, Hollywood's entertainment leaders began phoning one another asking if it could possibly be true. (Already this morning, I personally spoke with several prominent players wanting to know more.) Now, with my confirmation from Lt. Smith that those pages are similar to the official Sheriff's reports, showbiz moguls are certain to be shocked and angry. Still, to be fair, whether any person should be held responsible for what may have been under-the-influence ramblings is certainly debatable. But Gibson is a special case because his worldwide mega-hit The Passion of the Christ was criticized by some Jewish leaders as anti-Semitic, and Gibson's father, a local religious leader, has said that the Holocaust did not happen. Hutton Gibson in statements has decried the Holocaust as "fiction" and claimed there were more Jews in Europe after World War II than before. Mel Gibson, however, has repeatedly denied his movie Passion was anti-Semitic. But the actor/director's views about his father's Holocaust denial have been under scrutiny. When asked by an interviewer in early 2004 whether the Holocaust happened, the actor / director / producer responded that some of his best friends ''have numbers on their arms,'' then added: ''Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps.'' But in the same interview, Gibson said his father, Hutton Gibson, had ''never lied to me in his life,'' and Holocaust scholars have cited those and other statements as evidence that he has failed to disassociate himself clearly from his father's views. Perhaps to counter that, Gibson late last year announced he was developing a nonfiction mini-series about the Holocaust for ABC. His TV production company will base the four-hour miniseries for ABC on the self-published memoir of Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose gentile neighbors hid her from the Nazis but who lost several relatives in concentration camps. Gibson was not expected to act in the mini-series, nor was it certain that his name, rather than his company's, will be publicly attached to the final product, according to The New York Times. But Quinn Taylor, ABC's senior vice president for movies for television, told the paper at the time that the attention-getting value of having Gibson attached to a Holocaust project was a factor. ''Controversy's publicity, and vice versa,'' Taylor was quoted as saying. Now it remains to be seen whether the contents of these LA County Sheriff's Department arrest reports will make Gibson's Holocaust project too hot to handle for the network.

ABC's parent company, Disney, is distributing Gibson's latest Hollywood movie project, Apocalypto, through its Buena Vista Pictures Distribution arm. The action epic set before the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Central America about the bloody decline of the ancient Mayan civilization (filmed in their language) wrapped production earlier this year and planned for a Dec. 8 opening. In his most recent act of controversy, Gibson recently compared the fearmongering and human sacrifice of the Mayans to President George W. Bush's political actions. Previously, the Bush administration, Christian religious leaders, and conservative politicos had embraced Gibson for making The Passion of the Christ despite the overwhelmingly negative response to the film inside Jewish circles.

Hollywood, especially its Jewish moguls, has simultaneously rejected and embraced Gibson before, during and after Passion. Right before the movie was released, several top Hollywood Jewish executives saw an anti-Semitic subtext in the religious movie and pledged privately never to work with Gibson because of it. But once Passion became a surprise hit at the box office, and rang up humongous $611 million theatrical grosses worldwide, much of the heated criticism of Gibson began to cool inside Hollywood circles. And, in some quarters, the actor / director / producer began to be hailed as a genius for tapping into the zeitgest of those spiritual moviegoers often ignored by Hollywood moviemakers.

Given today's confirmation by the Sheriff's Office that Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic tirade is in his DUI arrest reports, the debate will rage anew in Hollywood and Jewish circles about Gibson's true feelings about Jews. The actor / director / producer works closely with many Jewish VIPs in the entertainment business at talent agencies, in law firms, and at the studios. Now, with Gibson's statement, this incident is very, very difficult to explain away.

posted by Steve @ 12:38:00 PM

12:38:00 PM

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