ABC pulls Mel Gibson show

By Colin Mahan

Aug 01, 2006

Mel Gibson's most lethal weapon may be his mouth.

ABC has pulled the plug on a planned Holocaust miniseries from Gibson's production company, Icon, reports today's Wall Street Journal. The network said it was doing so because of script delays and made no reference to the controversy the actor is currently embroiled in regarding drunken anti-Semitic comments.

"Given that it has been nearly two years and we have yet to see the first draft of a script, we have decided to no longer pursue this project with Icon," the network said on Monday.

Gibson was arrested Friday, July 28, in Malibu, California, for speeding and drunk driving. The actor greeted the arresting officer with a flood of anti-Jewish remarks, allegedly saying "Jews ruined my life" and "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" before asking if the officer was Jewish.

Web site obtained a copy of the arresting officer's statement. The inflammatory statement was reportedly buried by the officer's superiors and replaced with a sanitized version, from which the anti-Semitic comments had been deleted.

Over the weekend, Hollywood was buzzing with different opinions about how the incident would affect Gibson's career. Powerful Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel called for an industrywide boycott of Gibson.

Monday, Gibson entered an alcohol rehabilitation program. Today, the actor released a statement asking for forgiveness from the Jewish community.

"There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance of, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark," the statement reads. Gibson goes on to express his wish to meet with Jewish community leaders and discuss the incident.

Gibson's ABC miniseries was to follow a Dutch Jew during the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. In 2004, Gibson's religious film The Passion of the Christ drew criticism from Jewish leaders, most notably Abe Foxman, head of the Anti Defamation League.

"Is Gibson's anti-Semitism intentional? I don't believe so," Foxman said in a February 2004 speech. "But I worry about unintended consequences...Is the film anti-Semitic? No. But its consequences, its impact, its message may fuel anti-Semitism."

Mel Gibson's father, Hutton, is a known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. In a 2004 radio interview with Steve Feuerstein of Speak Your Piece, the elder Gibson expressed his belief that Jews had exaggerated claims of Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust.

"[Jews] claimed that there were 6.2 million in Poland before the war, and they claimed after the war there were 200,000--therefore he must have killed 6 million of them," he said. "They simply got up and left! They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn, and Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles."

He added, "It's all--maybe not all--fiction, but most of it is."

Icon Productions previously created the shows Kevin Hill and Complete Savages for TV. Disney, which owns ABC, said it has no plans to change the December release of Mel Gibson's next film, the Mayan drama Apocalypto.

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  • RDAkcCNmgJCM Feb 17, 2007

    Ok some of yall are being a bit harsh on the man, i mean if you call him a jerk then yourl be down on the same level he was, jus as bad as what he said, now if you Rember he was Drunk, and when your Drunk you some times say what you dont mean or you say wat you do mean but thers a chanch that he didnt mean it and i mean my god people we all make Mistakes, i mean really, and we shouldent be on a Lader looking down on him Jugding him, because we are all as bad as the next one comes. Mel is still one of my faver Actors nothin will chage that.

  • CCDANMAN Aug 11, 2006

    Well that is what alcohol does to you. Impairs your Judgement.

    I still think he is a great actor: Braveheart, The Patriot, Forever Young, Lethal Weapons..

  • darquesyde Aug 08, 2006

    All I can say is that I'm not anti-Semitic, and when I get sloshed I never say any anti-Semitic remarks. I think ABC didn't really have a choice in the matter for this one though, it would have really geven them a black eye.

  • railley Aug 04, 2006

    Crazy Mel needs to be locked up in an institute.

    Too Many Mad Max movies has bad consequences to the brain.

    oh and plasmafire44 - Im scottish and i didn't think braveheart was that good, not enough dead english people in it hrrrhrrhrrr

  • plasmafire44 Aug 04, 2006

    The man created Braveheart, you can't be mad at him forever.

  • calicow Aug 02, 2006

    What an anti-semitic jerk! I truly hope that his career in Hollywood takes a huge beating because of his comments.

  • livinwithfran Aug 02, 2006

    What a boor and what a shame that he feels he needs to voice his anti-semtic feelings to first come first serve.

    Let him move to Iran, I bet he'll feel very welcome them.

  • blackvelvetine Aug 02, 2006

    he's not sorry...when the average person get's drunk...they rail against a boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband or something really personal. Why rant randomly about Jewish people? He's a racist, drunken freak.

  • Jamin_Jamin Aug 02, 2006

    Give the man a break, sheesh.

  • outoffog Aug 01, 2006

    It only took a bit of alcohol to loosen Mel's tongue- and I'm sorry he feels that way about the Jewish people as a whole. It bothered me that his production company was going to produce a TV mini-series about people just like himself who hated Jews...and tried to do something about it by exterminating them in Europe over 60 years ago.

    Perhaps ABC was a bit too hasty in cancelling the project. I think Mel SHOULD produce this Holocaust mini-series as penance for his beliefs and prejudices. Re-examining such a dark period in world history might "sober him up" more ways than one.

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