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Press Release

Screenwriter's Allegations of Anti-Semitism Against Mel Gibson, If True, Reveal A 'Serial Offender'

New York, NY, April 12, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said allegations by a screenwriter against actor Mel Gibson, including claims he routinely uttered anti-Semitic epithets in private conversations and made comments denying the Holocaust, would be surprising "if not for the fact that it fits nicely into a pattern of a serial offender, a serial hater, a serial bigot." 

In a nine-page letter addressed to Gibson obtained by The Wrap, Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who has worked on the screenplay for Gibson's planned film about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee, wrote that Gibson repeatedly referred to Jews as "heebs, "oven-dodgers" and "Jew-boys" and expressed skepticism about the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. Gibson has denied the allegations, calling them "utter fabrications." 

"Had these allegations been made against any other actor, we would be skeptical, and certainly one could chalk them up to the words of a disgruntled screenwriter whose script was rejected. But with Mel Gibson they follow a distinct pattern of anti-Semitic conduct," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "If it had happened once, OK, then that raises a question. But after the second, third and fourth time, when police officers and other actors came forward to say that they had heard him make anti-Semitic remarks, a clear pattern emerged. Now we have a close confidante and respected screenwriter coming forward to say he heard the same epithets, the same anti-Semitic hatred, the same Holocaust denial. The latest revelations would be surprising if not for the fact that it fits nicely into a pattern of a serial offender, a serial hater, and a serial bigot." 

Mr. Foxman speculated that Gibson's anti-Jewish animus "was carefully taught" to him by his father, Hutton Gibson, a well-known Holocaust denier in his own right. "By now the pattern is clear, and we know that Gibson was infected early on in his life with anti-Semitism. If the latest allegations are true, it proves the point that anti-Semitism is a disease that is passed from generation to generation, and that can only be stopped by early intervention and education." 

In his letter to Gibson, Mr. Eszterhas wrote: "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you will not make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one.  You hate Jews."

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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