A film about a Jewish hero being produced by Mel Gibson, the actor who went on a public anti-Semitic tirade in 2006, drew sharp criticism on Friday from Jewish leaders who felt it was a slap in their faces.
Gibson's company, Icon Productions, is developing the movie about Judah Maccabee in collaboration with the Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros studio, but his involvement could include directing as plans move forward...
"As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better," Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement.
Rabbi Marvin Hier of Los Angeles' Simon Wiesenthal Center called Gibson's involvement, "simply an insult to Jews."...
In the past, the Anti-Defamation League also accused Gibson of evoking age-old stereotypes about Jews in his 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ," which made over $600 million at worldwide box offices and was celebrated by many Christians.
Gibson was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu in 2006, and he ranted at the officer: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," among other comments.
His arrest and tirade made headlines around the world. He later publicly apologized and attended self-help meetings.