Photo: AP
Oy Vey
Photo: AP

Offer: Publicly circumcise Gibson

Superstar Mel Gibson goes on a drunken anti-Semitic tirade and Hollywood's powerful Jewish community finds itself under attack for not speaking up in protest. Meanwhile, comedian Joy Behar got a sharp idea for a solution

In the days since Gibson's arrest on suspicion of drunk driving after a wild ride down a Malibu highway, few of the leading Jewish figures in the film industry have publicly commented on Gibson's barrage of anti-Semitic comments.


The actor was formally charged with drunk driving on Wednesday, six days after his arrest and subsequent rant to a police officer about Jews causing all the wars.


On Tuesday, Gibson issued a statement that said in part, "I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said..."


Former AOL Time Warner Vice Chairman Merv Adelman was so incensed by the lack of outrage in an industry founded and led by many Jews that he bought a quarter-page ad in the Los Angeles Times to protest the lack of protest.


"Bigots have so often accused our community of being run by Jews that I think it has entered our psyche. We have become so defensive that when faced with a degrading and disgusting incident starring a movie star, we as individuals remain relatively silent," he said in the ad.


"What would this community have done if Mel Gibson had drunkenly ranted and raved about the dirty 'Mexicans' or for that matter used the 'N' words disparagingly as he used the word Jews...?" he asked.


Sounding a similar theme, the Times's film industry columnist Patrick Goldstein wondered aloud why the "Big Kahunas of Hollywood" - men like director Steven Spielberg and studio bigwigs like Universal's Ron Meyer, DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg and Paramount's Brad Grey have been silent.


Hollywood avoids conflict


A spokesman for Spielberg said the director was on vacation and "uncontactable."


Goldstein saw the silence of today's Jewish leaders in Hollywood as continuing a long established pattern of avoiding trouble and trying not to offend - a pattern that saw actors like Emmanuel Goldenberg and Muni Weisenfreund change their names to Edward G. Robinson and Paul Muni.


"They are all thinking, what happens if he comes out of this and I've said something? He won't work with me when I need him,"' Goldstein quoted producer Howard Rosenman as saying.


TV network ABC on Tuesday pulled a miniseries about the Holocaust that Gibson, a traditional Catholic who built his own church in Malibu, was producing, but refused to say that the cancellation was related to the controversy.


Filmmaker and Time magazine critic Richard Schickel said Hollywood's caution stems in part from that fear of speaking out against one of the most bankable stars in the industry.


"I don't think this is the only reason, but I think many feel he will weather this storm and retain his clout as a star and a director. And if this is what they are doing, that is deplorable," he said.


Calls for boycott


But Los Angeles Weekly film columnist Nikki Finke says that there are people in Hollywood who are speaking out and who are vowing they would not do business with Gibson in the future.


Among those who have spoken out are prominent agent Ari Emanuel, who called for a boycott of Gibson, and Sony Pictures Chairwoman Amy Pascal who called the actor's comments "incredibly disappointing."


Finke said some of Gibson's critics are people "who have issues of their own" and might have been expected to show some sympathy with a person with an admitted alcoholism problem.


"The problem with Hollywood is that it is one of the most transparent of glass houses and usually the stones are coming from outside in. You have to be careful when you are throwing rocks from the inside because the whole place shatters," she said.


Another solution: public circumcision


Comedian Joy Behar is suggesting a painful way for Mel Gibson to show he's sorry.


Behar said on "The View" that Gibson "needs to be welcomed into the Jewish community by a public circumcision."


Behar also said that Gibson's apology won't change him. She adds, "People like him have it in them to just hate."


Earlier this week, Barbara Walters had said she'd never see another Gibson movie again, and says that his second apology hasn't changed her mind.


פרסום ראשון: 08.03.06, 12:40
 new comment
This will delete your current comment