Although Mel Gibson’s new film “Rothchild” hasn’t entered production yet, it has already stirred quite a lot of controversy. On Monday, Variety reported that Gibson will play a key role in Rothchild, a “dark” satirical comedy about an extremely rich New York family.
This instantly rings a bell, given the prominent real-life Rothschild family of Jewish millionaire bankers. However, the ethnicity of the family featured in the film, where Gibson will play family patriarch Whitelaw Rothchild, has not been specified in reports.
This has sparked a backlash, since Gibson is known for having made a number of anti-Semitic slurs in the past, more specifically, during his arrest in California in 2006 on a DUI (aka driving under intoxication) charge, when he notoriously exclaimed that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”.
Although he later apologised for the tirade aimed at a police officer, the aftereffect remained, causing Gibson’s lengthy ostracism by Hollywood. As early as in 2012, he was accused of “hating Jews” by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, which Gibson denied, later bringing up the continuing outburst over the alleged 2006 incident and calling it “unfair” and “a dim thing of the past”.
The escapade, along with reports that he targeted abusive rhetoric at his former partner Oksana Grigorieva, appeared to be wildly recalled on Twitter.
Oh yes, why not? A famously anti-Semitic actor playing a Jewish patriarch, this sounds like a cant miss. And by can’t miss I mean what the fuck? https://t.co/yePSoS4CbY— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) 14 мая 2019 г.
To recap: Mel Gibson, who is the son of a Holocaust denier and said Jews are responsible for all of the world’s wars, is playing a wealthy Jew, in a dark satire, about a shady Jewish banking conspiracy.— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) 14 мая 2019 г.
mel gibson is a violent anti-semitic woman abuser who beats up women holding babies https://t.co/Q234FdfY3a— Molly Priddy (@mollypriddy) 14 мая 2019 г.
As the debate continued after 2006, many picked up on Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson, who was a notorious Holocaust denier, whom Mel portrayed in one of his 2004 interviews as a person “who never lied to him in his life”.
Gibson, having been picked to co-star Shia LaBeouf in Rothchild, couldn’t go unnoticed by the Jewish community, with The Guardian quoting Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg as describing the casting decision as “chilling”.
“Mel Gibson seems like an unrepentant bigot to me & it’s honestly shocking to me that he would be in this movie”, New Yorker critic Emily Nussbaum tweeted.
I tend to lean excessively forgiving about a certain amount of addict behavior & bad speech. But Mel Gibson seems like an unrepentant bigot to me & it's honestly shocking to me that he would be in this movie. I truly don't get it.— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) 13 мая 2019 г.
However, netizens seemed to be little impressed by the criticism recalling a thing of the past — especially a personal “drunken breakdown”.
Seriously…— Obi-Wan Kenobi (@SirBenKenobi) 15 мая 2019 г.
George W. Bush has been absolved of his war crimes in the eyes of the U.S media yet you keep hounding Mel Gibson when he was having a drunken breakdown. Take it easy! Prioritise on people that deserve it. #MelGibson pic.twitter.com/JK41BaceXR
Old news and actions derived from a bad private life situation, moving on— Anansi (@MANX38) 15 мая 2019 г.
Hordes of Gibson’s fans emphasised what a genius he is while on stage, in front of or behind the cameras:
What can you say? The man’s a true legend at knowing what to do behind a camera, and knows what’s right for on-screenplay chemistry.— Joseph Castro (@josiedude89) 15 мая 2019 г.
There's no way this could go wrong: https://t.co/NVeX9u21kZ— Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn (@SaraHirschhorn1) 14 мая 2019 г.
Others asserted that the casting choice is “no big deal”, pointing to alleged “anti-Semites in Congress”:
Now that we have anti-semites in Congress, having one in Hollywood doesn't seem like such a big deal.— Jerry Rhodamine (@JRhodamine) 15 мая 2019 г.
One Twitter account even offered a specially made up limerick about the controversy surrounding Gibson:
Mel Gibson is Hollywood-bound— Limericking (@Limericking) 13 мая 2019 г.
To play a rich Jew, it was found.
This news, it’s believed,
Is being received
With huge WTFs all around.
Memes and jokes also came in torrents, with some Twitterians remarking cheekily that Hollywood’s choice fully dismisses abundant anti-Semite conspiracy theories, like the one that the film and media industry is controlled by the Jews:
Great troll from Mel: starring in a comedy as the super-rich patriarch of the Rothschild family. LOL. https://t.co/B3XaoEdifF— Logical Meme (@Logicalmeme) 13 мая 2019 г.
How conversations go between Mel Gibson and Hollywood executives pic.twitter.com/EKFLzGBeHE— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) 13 мая 2019 г.
If you think Jews control Hollywood, just realize, we weren’t able to keep Mel Gibson from having a comeback.— Peter Fox (@thatpeterfox) 13 мая 2019 г.
The upcoming Rothschild movie starring Mel Gibson is definitive proof that Jews do not run the media.— Megan Sass (@Megan_Sass) 14 мая 2019 г.
Late on Tuesday, Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob issued a statement to the Daily Beast addressing the ubiquitous accusations and assumptions, stressing that the film has nothing to do with the real Rothschild family of Jewish origin. She drew special attention to the spelling of the family name:
“I feel the need to spare you any embarrassment as I’m told this film is about a fictional family (hence the name ‘Rothchild’) vs the Rothschild family to which you are referring”, Nierob wrote. “Completely unrelated to your premise and angle. Hopefully this is helpful to you”.