The Wrap yesterday reported that Warner Bros. has shelved Mel Gibson’s epic about Judah Maccabee—a sort of Jewish-themed “Braveheart”. It’s not clear why. But screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who delivered the script in February, claims that Gibson never planned to make the movie and that he was just using its development as cover for his abject anti-Semitic feelings.
Eszterhas wrote in a letter to Gibson, obtained by The Wrap:
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”
Does that mean Gibson used Jeffrey Goldberg, too?
What’s fact and what’s fiction in this war of words has been an interesting topic in entertainment, media and Jewish circles the past day. (No, those are not one in the same.) Ben Greenman, a New Yorker and author of the fictitious “Mel! The Musical”, pointed out that “More amazing than this story about Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism is the incredible anti-Semitic venom in the comments.” He was referring to the version of The Wrap‘s story on Yahoo! Not really eye-opening—just a sad reminder.
It’s hard to know what to make of Gibson and his true intentions. The guy clearly has had, um, demons. But I also think that people might be quick to accept Eszterhas’ perspective because he’s talking about Mel Gibson. (It’s kind of bizarre to think of someone as crazy even when compared to Eszterhas.) More on Mel Gibson Sworn Enemy of the Jews, Round 38, from my colleague Danielle Berrin:
In further excerpts published by The Wrap, Eszterhas refers to Gibson as “wild,” “crazed,” and “explosive” and said he “continually called Jews ‘Hebes’ and ‘oven-dodgers’ and ‘Jewboys.’
“It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked ‘He’s a Hebe, isn’t he?’ You said most ‘gatekeepers’ of American companies were ‘Hebes’ who ‘controlled their bosses.’”
According to the letter, Gibson referred to the Holocaust as “a lot of horseshit” and wrongly claims the Torah makes reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies. Oh, and that Gibson’s intention with the movie was to “convert Jews to Christianity.”
Meanwhile, actor Joshua Malina spoofed the issue on his Facebook page this way: “Warner Bros. reportedly puts Mel Gibson’s Maccabee movie on hold,” he wrote. “No biggie,” asserts Gibson, “I kind of hate Jews anyway.”
Read the rest here.