ADL Reacts To Mel Gibson's Latest Cinematic Foray Into Biblical History, Saying 'Judah Maccabee Deserves Better'
New York, NY, September 9, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reacted to reports that Hollywood actor and director Mel Gibson, who has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks and whose 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ" evoked age-old stereotypes about Jews, is planning to make a film with Warner Bros. based on the life of the Judean hero Judah Maccabee.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We would have hoped that Warner Bros. could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps even star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee. As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better. It would be a travesty to have the story of the Maccabees told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people's religious views.
Not only has Mel Gibson shown outward antagonism toward Jews and Judaism in his public statements and actions, but his previous attempt to bring biblical history to life on the screen was marred by anti-Semitism. Rather than listen to respected religious leaders, both Christian and Jewish, who voiced concerns then about the insensitive elements of his depiction of the last hours and crucifixion of Jesus, Gibson showed contempt for those voices and refused to make changes that might have helped turn his passion of hate into a passion of love.
While we do not argue with Mel Gibson's right to make this film, we still strongly believe that Warner Bros. should reconsider Gibson's involvement in this project.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.