2006-08-10 / This Week's Attitude

This Week's Attitude

Mind & Mouth Are Lethal Weapons In Mel's Hands
By Neil S. Friedman

Mel, Mel, Mel...what the heck were you thinkin'? Obviously, from the media reports, he wasn't. Oy vey, what a schmuck!

After his recent anti-Semitic drunken tirade, it would appear that Mel Gibson's status in Hollywood has taken a dive - and it's likely he has lost quite a bit of respect from peers and fans - not to mention angry Jews and Christians. Now that the deep-seeded bigotry of one of the world's biggest stars has resurfaced, Gibson reigns as Tinseltown's latest pariah. While some may opt to shun him for the time being, Hollywood can be forgiving, especially to its own.

Now that he's openly asserted it was not the liquor talking when he was stopped for allegedly driving under the influence a few weeks ago, Gibson, who usually portrays himself as a tolerant, loving individual, said while he's in rehab for falling off the wagon, he'll search his soul to determine what made him utter, "The Jews are responsible for all the worlds wars," among other anti-Semitic slurs to the Malibu sheriff's deputy who stopped him.

Yo, Mel, soul-search this - in your heart you're an anti-Semite. Atone, do some volunteer work for Jewish organizations, chauffer around some Jewish family for a month or so. That's a start.

Gibson, a native New Yorker raised in Australia, should perhaps contribute some of the $600 million he grossed from the controversial box-office smash, "The Passion of the Christ," which originally earned him the anti-Semite label, to some worthy Jewish organizations, such as the Holocaust Museum in the nation's capitol.

In his remorse, Gibson has asked members of the Jewish community "to discern the appropriate path for healing." So far, the offers have trickled in, though he has been invited to attend Yom Kippur services at a Los Angeles synagogue.

Here are a few optional acts of contrition the devout Catholic might consider:

+When he's convicted and after he serves a sentence, he could study at appropriate places, here and in Israel, to learn the pertinent facts about the history of the Jewish people.

+Then, as part of his passage to recovery, he should embark on a nationwide tour to educate the morons who espouse that the Holocaust never happened, including his own father, who repeatedly dismissed claims the Holocaust occurred. The week before "Passion" was released, the elder Gibson commented that most of the estimates of Jewish deaths at the hands of the Germans "was fiction."

At the time, Gibson claimed he didn't support his father's view, but has never repudiated the old man. Nonetheless, a few years ago during an interview for Reader's Digest, Gibson reportedly said, "The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps..."

What a jerk! The sum of that "some" he so casually cited has been estimated at SIX MILLION, roughly half of the entire number slaughtered by the Nazis.

His prejudice is not limited to Jews. In the early 1990s Gibson publicly apologized to the gay community following homophobic remarks he uttered.

In the wake of Gibson's anti-Semitic rant some Hollywood trade publications reported Disney decided to shelve the film, "Apocalypto," an epic about the Mayan Empire, which he directed, claiming the decision had been made before the actor's latest ordeal. Gibson has also been removed as producer of an ABC-TV (a Disney company) miniseries about a Jewish family that survived the Holocaust thanks to being sheltered by a few Dutch Christian families.

He may not consider himself an anti-Semite, but Manic Mel obviously harbors those thoughts he uttered after he foolishly got in his car and was subsequently stopped by a Malibu sheriff's deputy a few weeks back. Police said he was zooming along in his 2006 Lexus at 87 miles-per-hour in a 45 mph zone, tested over the blood-alcohol limit and an open bottle of tequila was found in the car. The story got extensive notice when the eight-page police report was leaked and posted on the Internet. Incidentally, not only did he offend Jews, because the posting indicated he also made a derogatory remark about a female officer's chest. (To date, no feminist organization has publicly reacted.)

On the lighter side of the Mel Gibson chronicle is the joke that when he's sentenced he could get six-months or a life sentence, depending on whether or not the judge is Jewish. Following his recent outburst and his previous proclivity for anti-Semitism, Gibson may be quaking in his shoes because he probably thinks all judges are Jewish.

The literary editor of The New Republic - a Jew - said, "Mad Max is making Max mad, as well as Irving, Murray, Abe, Mort and Marty."

There've also been jokes about his dwindling social calendar, such as lower Manhattan's Museum of Jewish Heritage scrubbing it's plan for a Mel Gibson movie retrospective and the B'nai B'rith deciding not to name the actor as its next Man of the Year.

Nevertheless, anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that ultimately neither DUI nor anti-Semitism are anything to be laughed at. And Mel Gibson - under the influence or not - needs to clean up his act if he wants his celebrated career to resume.

Anyone who knows even a little about the Jewish religion knows it highly regards atonement. It even sets aside one day a year - Yom Kippur - to focus on it. For Mel Gibson to adequately atone, he should use whatever influence remains of his celebrity status and regularly lecture on the enduring bigotry of anti-Semitism.

A twelve-step program may help him combat his struggle with alcoholism, but it's gonna take an earnest trip on the road to redemption for Mel Gibson to overcome his obvious intolerance for Jews and others that has emerged over the years.

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