It’s almost halfway through 2012 so it was pretty odd that we hadn’t heard any “Mel Gibson is antisemitic” news yet. Glad that’s about to change.
Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Showgirls, Basic Instinct), who Mel Gibson hired to write the script for Judah Maccabee to prove to everyone he isn’t a raging anti-Semite, had turned in a draft back in February and never heard back from Mel. He got a little, okay, very upset and wrote a nine page letter that he promised to have only sent to Nick Guerra, Mel’s assistant. Somehow the letter found it’s way into the hands of The Wrap. Here’s a quick summary.
On why Mel wanted to do a Maccabee film: I’ve come to the conclusion that you never had, or have, any intention of making a film about the Maccabees. I believe you announced the project with great fanfare — “a Jewish Braveheart” — in an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-semitism which have dogged you. I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make The Maccabees is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.
On Mel’s unfiltered Antisemitism: Let me remind you of some of the things you said which appalled me. 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.’
Mel still doesn’t believe the Holocaust happened: You said the Holocaust was “mostly a lot of horseshit.” 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).
On Mel’s real reason for doing the movie: Perhaps most disturbing, as I wrote out 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.”
On Mel wanting to stab Oksana while f*cking her up the butt: Shortly after we got there [Gibson’s property in Costa Rica, where they were to work on the script], you and my [15-year-old] son Nick and some others went surfing. On the way to the sea, walking along in the sand, you turned to Nick and said, “I want to f*ck her in the ass and stab her to death while I’m doing it.”
On aging: You hurled your cell phone into a wall and started to scream, “I look so f*cking old! I look horrible! That f*cking whore is destroying me! She’s taking my looks! I hate her! She’s destroying my life!” You jumped up, screaming full-throated: “Look at me!! f*cking look at me! Look how terrible I look! Answer me, God! Why did you turn your back on me?! f*ck you! f*ck you!” You stepped a few feet away and screamed into the sky, “I’m not gonna take it up the ass anymore and say, ‘Thank you, your honor!”
Take this letter with a grain of salt. While everything in here sounds plausible, it could be that Eszterhas was pissed about his script being rejected. Anyway, Mel wrote back.
I have your letter. I am not going to respond to it line by line, but I will say that the great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed to me in your letter are utter fabrications. I would have thought that a man of principle, as you purport to be, would have withdrawn from the project regardless of the money if you truly believed me to be the person you describe in your letter. I guess you only had a problem with me after Warner Brothers rejected your script.
I will acknowledge like most creative people I am passionate and intense. I was very frustrated that when you arrived at my home at the expense of both Warner Brothers and myself you hadn’t written a single word of a script or even an outline after 15 months of research, meetings, discussions and the outpouring of my heartfelt vision for this story. I did react more strongly than I should have. I promptly sent you a written apology, the colorful words of which you apparently now find offensive. Let me now clearly apologize to you and your family in the simplest of terms.
Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation, I have been working on this project for over 10 years and it was publicly announced 8 years ago. I absolutely want to make this movie; it’s just that neither Warner Brothers nor I want to make this movie based on your script.
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.
I think that we can agree that this should be our last communication.
I like the part where he says the majority of that letter isn’t true and admitted to reacting “more strongly than I should have” and said that the colorful words in his apology letter he sent to Joe wasn’t meant to be offensive. Now I want to know what the apology letter said. Was it more of Mel going off on a tangent about ways to f*ck Oksana while killing her and swearing at an imaginary Jew devil out to get him? To be fair, it’s not hard to imagine the script sucked harder than Oksana did when Mel punched her in the diaphragm. May I remind you this is the guy who wrote Showgirls.