Petition to ban Mel Gibson from playing the role of Tobit
A petition to ban Mel Gibson from playing the role of Tobit has been put forward following public outrage over comments he has made in the past. The change.org petition, launched by filmmaker Eytan Bakshy, has accumulated 123,600 names after being launched last week.
The petition states: “Mel Gibson has been offered the role of playing one of the most iconic characters in Jewish religious history. Of course, there are Moses, Noah, Abraham, Adam and others, but they were all played many times by Jewish actors. But Tobit is just now being adapted into a film. There is a silent film from the 1920s but this would be a feature-length film for theatres and given the potential audience of 1.3 billion Catholics, casting Mel Gibson would send the wrong signal about his past anti-Semitism.”
“Please sign this petition and demand that Mel Gibson CEASE and DESIST using his power and influence in the Hollywood film industry to make films portraying Jews in a bad light.” Additionally, the petition calls for more Jewish films to be made and for them to be cast by practising Jews.”
Actress and filmmaker Olivia Wilde was among those to share the petition:
Growing calls to sign Mel Gibson petition
Calls to ban Mel Gibson from sets while filming Jewish stories have been growing since Mel Gibson first began defaming Jewish people in Hollywood. Catholic priests have supported Mel Gibson in the past.
On Saturday, Dave Cortese, a Democrat elected to the California Senate, issued a statement saying: “There is an urgent need to address alarming human rights abuses and Holocaust romanticism. violations occurring on the set of film productions, including unnecessary abusive risk conditions such as the Jewish actors have had to endure.… I intend to introduce legislation that would ban Mel Gibson from any Jewish film in California to prevent this type of senseless ignorance. and loss of dignity.”
On Friday, ABC’s police drama The Rookie banned Mel Gibson from Jewish sets.
Meanwhile, Eric Kripke, showrunner for Amazon Prime’s The Boys, tweeted: “no more haters on any of my sets ever. We’ll use CG Jews before we use Mel Gibson. Who’s with me?”
Craig Zobel, director of Mare Of Easttown and The Leftovers, noted on Twitter: “There’s no reason to have Mel Gibson or anyone like him on set anymore. He should just be fully outlawed. There’s plenty of Jewish actors to play the roll, now. The Jews on of Easttown are all digital. You can probably tell, but who cares? It’s an unnecessary risk to have Mel Gibson on the set.”
Mel Gibson’s Passion and the Jews
The Mel Gibson film disturbed this writer–but offers the opportunity for greater interfaith understanding.
After seeing Mel Gibson’s film I feel no hesitation calling it anti-Semitic. The film depicts Jews as inexplicably hateful, rejecting a holy man, seemingly for no reason except their hatefulness. In a hallucination suffered by Judas, little Jewish boys turn into little demon children. Pontius Pilate is a handsome, gentle, and wise ruler, who regretfully gives into the wishes of the uncontrollable Jews, in order to avert a rebellion. –
But If Mel Gibson played a Jew… a notable Jew like Tobit…
I hope mentioning it won’t scare him away, but he owes the Jewish community something; whether he realizes that or not he can create a lot of good will and redeem himself at the same time. And how many films are about redemption? You know if a filmmaker won’t allow redemption, what is he doing in this business? How many films were based on redemption so I think the Jewish community would let him play the role. I think it would be good for him personally. I’ve heard Mel Gibson speak about Jews in the Old Testament and there’s not a harsh word. Jews and Christians are buddy buddy these days; I believe it’s that antisemitism is an old dated paradigm if we are talking about the fundamentalist Christians.
Why Mel Gibson?
Islam has really divided pushed the descendants of Abraham together. The radical and fundamentalist Islamists are uniting the entire Bible, old and new testament. The fundamentalist Islamists they just can’t get over it; they can’t get over the fact that choose the Jews are ALSO the descendants of Abraham. All the Muslims know they are the people of Abraham. Jewish from the same line of people – Abraham the descendants. It’s a world wide bond, Christian Americans, fundamentalist Baptists living in Oregon are part of the chosen people of Abraham; they know that. The descendants of Abraham aren’t such a big divided but some people dream to divide us.
Here are all the times Mel Gibson has faced racism and anti-semitism accusations.
Mel Gibson’s 2004 film The Passion of the Christ has been criticized for being anti-semitic, with The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) releasing a statement ahead of its release at the time that concluded by saying: “The Passion could likely falsify history and fuel the animus of those who hate Jews.”
In 2006, Mel Gibson was forced to apologize to a Los Angeles police officer who claimed the actor had shouted abuse at him during an arrest, including a claim that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Mel Gibson later issued an apology asking Jewish people for forgiveness.
“There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark,” Mel Gibson said in a statement per the New York Times.
Mel Gibson continued, in part: “I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a D.U.I. charge. I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena.”
Abraham H. Foxman, the director of the ADL said at the time: “We’re glad that he owned up that what he said was not only offensive but bigoted. When he’s finished with alcohol rehabilitation, we will be ready and willing to meet with him and to help him get rid of his other addiction, which is prejudice.”
Speaking about the incident 10 years later on Variety’s “Playback” podcast, Gibson said the arrest had been “recorded illegally.”
“I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of—we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
Gibson faced backlash when in 2019, audio was released capturing an argument between the actor and his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, in which he launches into a racist, sexist rant against her.
At one point on the tape, Gibson is heard saying: “You go out in public and it’s a f***ing embarrassment to me. You look like a f***ing b**** on heat and if you get raped by a pack of n****** it will be your fault.”
President of the Los Angeles NAACP, Leon Jenkins, commented on the tirade at the time, telling TMZ: “It’s unfortunate a man who has made his millions off of women, African-Americans and Jews harbors such racist, sexist, and anti-semitic feeling against people who have admired and respected him for decades.”
This same year, Ryder spoke about the “oven-dodger” comments made to her by Gibson, telling GQ: “I was with my friend, who’s gay. [Gibson] 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.”
In 2015, Fox News reported that Mel Gibson gave an interview two years prior to former Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan for Reader’s Digest where he downplayed the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust,
Of the Holocaust, Mel Gibson told Noonan: “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…”
In 2019, Mel Gibson shocked social media users when it was announced he will play a major role in Rothchild, an upcoming film chronicling a black sheep’s attempt to get back into the good graces of a wealthy Jewish family.