The website WRAP has gotten hold of “an explosive nine-page letter” from Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (“Basic Instinct,” “Jagged Edge”) to Mel Gibson, his collaborator on a movie about the Maccabee revolt, in which Joe is accusing Mel of “hating Jews” and of using him to deflect his anti-Semitic reputation.
Eszterhas wrote that Gibson, the director of a sadomasochistic flick about how the Jews killed you-know-who but not before flogging the skin off of him, never actually intended to make the movie about Jewish heroism, titled “The Maccabees.”
Eszterhas wrote that the real reason Gibson had announced the project was an “attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.”
Eszterhas added: “I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”
Meanwhile, according to the WRAP, Warner Bros. has suspended Mel Gibson’s movie project about that 2nd Century BCE Maccabee revolt, after reading Joe Eszterhas’ script. Or, as Warner put it: “We are analyzing what to do with the project.”
A few years ago, Mel Gibson went on a rampage when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Los Angeles, nd according to the arresting officer’s report Gibson exploded in a barrage of anti-Semitic statements such as “F—-g Jews” and “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Jewish groups were outraged initially, after news broke in September that Gibson signed the deal with Warner’s to direct a film about the life of Judah Maccabee, who drove the Syrian armies out of Judea, as we celebrate each year on Hanukkah.
“Braveheart” about Jews, if you will.
Abraham Foxman of ADL told The Hollywood Reporter, “It would be a travesty to have [Judah Maccabee’s] story told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’s religious views.”
Rabbi Marvin Hier said at the time, “Mel Gibson has shown nothing but antagonism and disrespect to Jews.”
According to WRAP, Eszterhas’ letter reveals “a disturbing picture of Gibson as a man yet again out of control, inflicting frequent rages on those around him, in the grip of an anti-Semitic obsession, and possibly dangerous to those around him.”
For instance, Eszterhas’ letter recounts Gibson’s threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Gregorieva: “You were raving at Oksana even after you’d reached a custody agreement over Luci, and then you were even more explicit about your threat: ‘I’m going to kill her! I’m going to have her killed!’ You said you’d become friends with two FBI agents (or former FBI agents) and they were going to help you to kill her.”
But throughout the work on the Maccabee script, Mel’s pervasive hatred of Jews hung in the air like the alcoholic fumes that got him arrested those few years ago. Eszterhas writes:
“You 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.'”
It just went on and on:
“You said the Holocaust was ‘mostly a lot of horses–t.’ You said the Torah made reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants. When I told you that you were confusing the Torah with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, … you insisted ‘it’s in the Torah — it’s in there!'”
Finally, Eszterhas wrote that Gibson had told him that his intention in making “The Maccabees” was “to convert the Jews to Christianity.”
WRAP also cites Mel Gibson’s response letter to Eszterhas:
“Both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft. In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time. The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not on any other factor.”
Gibson actually apologized for using “colorful” language, but said that much of Eszterhas’s observations were “utter fabrications.”
“Braveheart” about Jews, indeed.
About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.
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