Mel Gibson’s antisemitic rants are dominating news headlines once again. Last week, Hollywood star Winona Ryder told a U.K. publication about a horrific antisemitic statement made to her by Gibson earlier in her career.
According to Ryder, during a crowded party she attended, Gibson asked now deceased gay makeup icon Kevin Aucoin “Oh, wait am I gonna get AIDS?”. Gibson then asked Ryder “You’re not an oven dodger, are you?” using a derogatory term for a person of Jewish heritage. The actress, born Winona Laura Horowitz who identifies as Jewish, added that Gibson, who probably understood the severity of his words, tried to apologize at a later date.
Over the years Gibson has made many outrageous hateful comments including antisemitic, racist, and sexist outbursts and allegations.
In February 2004, after reviewing an advanced script of Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement calling the screenplay “one of the most troublesome texts, relative to antisemitic potential, that any of us had seen in 25 years.”
As the film was released in theaters, many critics noted the portrayal of Jews as grotesque, hook-nosed pharisees. Caiaphas, the Jewish priest shown leading the charge against Jesus, remorsefully utters the controversial line “His blood [is] on us and on our children!” After outrage from the public, the subtitle for the line was removed while the audio remains in the film.
Following the outrage, Gibson told The New Yorker he included the line, which insinuates the Jewish people share collective guilt for Jesus’ death, because “I wanted it in… it happened; It was said. But, man, if I included that in there, they’d [Jews] be coming after me at my house. They’d come to kill me.”
In July 2006, L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled Gibson over on the Pacific Coast Highway. After informing Gibson, who was allegedly drunk, that he will be detained, the actor screamed “F*cking Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” and asked the arresting officer if he is a Jew.
In 2010, Gibson launched a racist, sexist rant against ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. On a leaked video tape, Gibson is heard saying to Grigorieva “You go out in public and it’s a f**ing embarrassment to me. You look like a f*ing b* on heat and if you get raped by a pack of n**** it will be your fault.”
In April 2012, Warner Brothers cancelled Mel Gibson’s controversial movie project about the Jewish Maccabee revolt in the 2nd Century B.C. after reading the script. Eszterhas, the screenwriter, claimed Gibson said his main goal was “to convert the Jews to Christianity” and continually called Jews ‘Hebes’ and ‘oven-dodgers’ during their work together. He also claimed that Gibson called the Holocaust “mostly a lot of horseshit” and at one point, Gibson falsely claimed that the Torah mentioned the sacrifice of Christian babies.
In October 2016, while promoting his film “Hacksaw Ridge”, Gibson said he felt “annoyed” when people mention his 2006 antisemitic tirade. Gibson said that it is “unfair” that he has a reputation as being prejudiced and he doesn’t “understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue.”
In May 2019, it was reported that Mel Gibson would star in the controversial film “Rothchild” as a character named Whitelaw Rothchild, the patriarch of a super wealthy New York family whose name is a play on that of the Rothschild dynasty, a favorite target of antisemites. Social media users argued Gibson should not have been cast in a film with Jewish characters.
Mel Gibson was temporarily shunned from Hollywood following his bigoted views; it is time it happens again, this time for good. As reported this week, Gibson has already lost one movie role over Ryder’s allegations; he will not return for the upcoming sequel to “Chicken Run” and the role of Rocky will be recast. During 2020’s new ‘cancel culture’, it’s difficult to find someone who must be permanently cancelled, more than Mel Gibson.