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Ari Emanuel Headshot

The Bottom Line on Mel Gibson's Anti-Semitic Remarks

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I wish Mel Gibson well in dealing with his alcoholism, but alcoholism does not excuse racism and anti-Semitism. It is one thing when marginal figures with no credibility make anti-Semitic statements. It is a completely different thing when a figure of Mel Gibson's stature does so. Even when he sobers up and apologizes.

According to the handwritten report of the deputy who pulled Gibson over, published by TMZ.com, after he was arrested Gibson launched into an anti-Semitic tirade, saying: "Fucking Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

At a time of escalating tensions in the world, the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements. When The Passion of the Christ came out, Gibson was quoted as categorically denying any anti-Semitism attributed to him: "For me, it goes against the tenets of my faith, to be racist in any form. To be anti-Semitic is a sin. It's been condemned by one Papal Council after another. There's encyclicals on it, which is, you know -- to be anti-Semitic is to be unchristian, and I'm not."

Now we know the truth. And no amount of publicist-approved contrition can paper it over. People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him, even if it means a sacrifice to their bottom line.

There are times in history when standing up against bigotry and racism is more important than money.