To paraphrase Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, “Lord I know we are your chosen people, but once in a while, can’t you have Mel Gibson choose someone else?”
It seems as if every time Mel Gibson starts digging out of a hole caused by his bigoted tongue he falls right back in. Right on the heels of the announcement of a new “comeback” movie “Beaver,” Winona Ryder gives an interview with Winona Ryder appearing in GQ and tells story about Gibson’s Antisemitism and Homophobia.
“I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who’s gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about ‘oven dodgers,’ but I didn’t get it. I’d never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, ‘He’s anti-Semitic and he’s homophobic.’ No one believed me!
On one hand, we only have Ms Ryder’s word on this incident, but these bigoted words by Gibson are not much different from other things the actor has said.
In 2004 Gibson was interviewed by Peggy Noonan for Readers Digest in 2004. Noonan asked Gibson if he believed the Holocaust happened. He answered by questioning the number of Jews slaughtered by the Nazi’s killed in the Holocaust and seemed to down play the Holocaust as a Jewish experience. But added that its all OK because some of his best friends are holocaust survivors.
I mean when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now it’s four. I mean it’s that kind of numbers game. I mean war is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million people starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union. Okay? It’s horrible.
To describe the Jewish suffering in the Holocaust suffering as “some of them were Jews in concentration camps” sounds awfully like what a Holocaust revisionist would say. He was asked about the Holocaust, not about how many war dead there were or whether Stalin committed atrocities. Gibson’s answer was an attempt at watering down the genocide, making it almost as an afterthought
Probably the most famous of Gibson’s anti-Semitic incidents was when he launched into a shameful diatribe against Jews during a DUI arrest in 2006. Gibson told sheriff’s deputy James Mee (who is Jewish): “F****** Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Gibson then asked: “Are you a Jew?
“He is an anti-Semitic son of a bitch. He should F***ing die!”
Three years later he was at it again. Mel was caught on taped conversation with his estranged wife spewing hate speech about African Americans, Hispanics and Asians proving that Mel Gibson was not just an anti-Semite, he hates everybody. Most people with at least half a brain were now convinced that the man is a venomous hater. Proving my point, Whoopie Goldberg is still not convinced.
Should/Could Mel Gibson be forgiven for a lifetime of hatred? As a Jew, we believe that everyone has the opportunity to “teshuva” return to righteousnesses. Its more than a matter of saying you’re sorry, you have to change your behavior. The Winona story happened fifteen years ago, all of the other incidents post date that one. But based on the tapes released last year, it seems as if Mel Gibson has not as of yet decided to change.
Forgiveness may be the least of Mel Gibson’s worries. He is working on his latest “comeback” with a movie, Beaver. Its a Jodie Foster-directed movie about a lonely toy manufacturer who befriends a beaver puppet. Should Mel continue in his life of spreading hatred, hey may find himself in a similar situation, as a lonely actor whose only friend is a children’s plush toy.