A Hollywood screenwriter has accused actor and director Mel Gibson of hating Jews and denying the holocaust after a planned film about the 2nd century BC Jewish revolt was scrapped, a Hollywood blog site reported on Thursday.
Joe Eszterhas sent a letter to Gibson after Studio Warner Bros yesterday announced the cancellation of “The Maccabees,” a film Gibson had been attached to direct, while the script was written by Eszterhas.
Studio Warner Bros had cancelled the film, suggesting that Eszterhas’ script lacked “a sense of triumph,” the newspaper reported.
But Eszterhas hit back with a fiery response.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make “The Maccabees” is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews,” wrote Eszterhas, in a nine-page letter to Gibson, published by blog site The Wrap.
He said Gibson had used the project “to deflect continuing charges of antisemitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.”
“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,’ he added.”
Eszterhas is best known for his screenplay for the 1992 Paul Verhoeven thriller “Basic Instinct.” “The Maccabees” was set to be a movie depicting the story of Judah Maccabee, a Jewish hero who led a revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
Eszterhas went on to allege that Gibson told him that “the Holocaust was ‘mostly a lot of horses***.’ 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!’ (It isn’t).”
“Perhaps most disturbing, as I write the script, was a comment you made to me in your Malibu house. It came out of the blue, while you were playing on the living room floor with your little girl, Luci. ‘What I really want to do with this movie,’ you said, ‘is to convert the Jews to Christianity,” Eszterhas’ letter stated.
In response to Eszterhas’ note, Gibson released an open letter, obtained by TMZ website, in which he said “that the great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed to me in your letter are utter fabrications,” claiming that work on “The Maccabees” was halted since the writer’s script was rejected.
“Honestly, Joe, not only was the script delivered later than you promised, 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 was famously accused of hurling anti-Semitic abuse at a police office after he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2006.
(Written by Eman El-Shenawi)