MEL Gibson has declared war on two of the most powerful religious groups in America - and his daddy is a Revisionist!
"Gibson's passionate defence of his film comes in the wake of a firestorm caused by his father, Hutton Gibson. In an interview with The New York Times, the 84-year-old denied the Holocaust ever took place.
Mel: I'm not an anti-Semite
By Candace Sutton and wires
June 15 2003
Hollywood star and filmmaker Mel Gibson has hit out at claims that he and his new film about the death of Christ is anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic.
The strict Catholic's statement to entertainment industry bible Daily Variety marks the first time the father of seven has spoken out about the furore.
"To be certain, neither I nor my film is anti-Semitic," Gibson said after an outcry sparked by fears about The Passion, which portrays the last hours in the life of Christ.
"If the intense scrutiny during my 25 years in public life revealed I had ever persecuted or discriminated against anyone based on race or creed, I would be all too willing to make amends. But there is no such record.
"Nor do I hate anybody - certainly not the Jews."
Jewish and Catholic scholars have launched a campaign against The Passion, which is due for release early next year.
Gibson, a practising Catholic, said many of his friends and business associates were Jewish.
"Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my movie," he said.
Gibson's passionate defence of his film comes in the wake of a firestorm caused by his father, Hutton Gibson. In an interview with The New York Times, the 84-year-old denied the Holocaust ever took place.
Gibson - a former quiz show winner, Sydney radio broadcaster and resident of a small Victorian dairy town who now lives in Texas - believes the Holocaust was a fabrication because there were more Jews in Germany "after the war than before".
In the interview, which was published in March, Hutton Gibson also refuted the notion that Osama bin Laden's terrorists perpetrated the September 11 attacks.
And he contended that Jews had conspired with Masons to reform the Catholic Church in the famous Vatican II of the 1960s, which ended the Latin Mass and the notion of Jewish guilt in the crucifixion.
Having stayed out of his father's troubles, Gibson said he could not stand by as The Passion was condemned.
He said it was a movie "meant to inspire, not offend".
"My intention in bringing it to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds (or none) who have varying familiarity with this story," he said.
Gibson co-wrote and self-funded (to the tune of $42 million) the film, which features parts in Latin and Aramaic language and has no subtitles.
At the Holy Family church on a property north-west of Los Angeles, Gibson, his wife of 23 years, Robyn, and their children lead the congregation in a Latin Mass which is followed by a sermon preaching the "evil" of "the modern church".
Gibson, who practises the traditional Catholic mores of no artificial contraception and no meat on Fridays, has described Pope John Paul II as "a wolf in sheep's clothing".
Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, who co-founded DreamWorks studio, are the tip of the iceberg of influential Jewish people in Hollywood.
As the actor himself said of his latest project, "They think I'm crazy, and maybe I am. But maybe I'm a genius."
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