ABC pulls Mel Gibson show
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 TMZ.com 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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