Most of the time PJ Lifestyle endeavors for positivity in its posts. From time to time — particularly in instances of racism, antisemitism, and other forms of bigotry — we’ll make an exception when the real world intrudes into the cultural world too deeply to ignore.
From my friend Jeff Dunetz at Yid With Lid:
When the Mel Gibson movie about the Jewish hero Judah the Maccabee, green-lighted by Warner Brothers this past September was suddenly put on hold by the studio last month screen reporters didn’t understand Warner’s silence as to the reason behind their action. However yesterday that all changed as the entertainment industry website Wrap.com obtained a scathing letter by the movie’s screenwriter, Joe Eszterhas (who wrote Flashdance and Basic Instinct) to Gibson accusing the star of making Anti-Semitic statements as well as threatening to kill the mother of his baby girl Oksana Grigorieva.
Everything Eszterhas said in the letter has been said before, but this was supposed to be Gibson’s “redemption” project. But according to Eszterhas (who is not Jewish) Gibson sabotaged the project because of his hatred of Jews.
Big Hollywood has a write up here.
The star’s defense? Eszterhas is trying to deflect blame for submitting a sub-par script. Only the “great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions” attributed to Gibson are “utter fabrications.” He admits to being “passionate” — perhaps not the word the director of The Passion of the Christ should use when answering new charges of continued antisemitism and unacceptable personal behavior.
I find Gibson’s explanation highly suspect given Eszterhas’ ridiculously successful screenwriting career and the usual strength of his prose as demonstrated by the letter.
Read Eszterhas’ letter and everything he presents rings true with Gibson’s previous antisemitic statements and self-destructive behavior.
But be Warned: some of the words Eszterhas attributes to Gibson are sexually graphic and deeply disturbing — particularly given the claim that they were said in private to Eszterhas’ 15-year-old son Nick. But they provide an important insight into the dehumanizing mentality of the radical antisemite, a subject I’ve explored the past few weeks in my analysis of Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies at the PJ Tatler.
One of the revealing quotes from Gibson reported by Eszterhas:
I have all this rage and I don’t know why. I’ve tried therapy, but no one can tell me why I’m so angry. Therapy doesn’t work.
I don’t think I can ever watch Braveheart again. That climactic scene of Gibson as William Wallace tortured to death just seems different now that we know what the actor-director has flashing through his mind all the time: a blinding self-hatred he projects out on not just Jews but everyone.
We’ve seen this before with other geniuses, as the recent HBO documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World reminds:
Jeff gets it right as he usually does when it comes to antisemitism:
If the Eszterhas letter is accurate, the Maccabee movie may very well be the final nail in the coffin of Gibson’s movie career. Not because he hates Jews, but because he is a very sick man who hates all ethnic groups.
Update: I expand on this post this morning over at the PJ Tatler in the conclusion to my Afrolantica Legacies series.