Mel Gibson: Ash Wednesday wish, to seek forgiveness from Jews and heal

In Gibson’s Roman Catholic faith, the symbol of the Ash Wednesday, the mark of the ashes, echoes an ancient Near Eastern tradition of throwing ash over one’s head signifying repentance before God.

The priest or minister offers the worshipper an instruction while applying the ashes, in essence evoking the desire to repent, and hear the good news.

Good news is just what Gibson needs these days.  The wind-down of the fated night last week when he was pulled over by Lost Hills deputies has had Gibson under unbelievable scrutiny.

The growing outrage over his anti-Semitic remarks when arrested last week forced Mel Gibson to offer yet a second apology, specifically asking forgiveness of all Jews and asking for meetings with Jewish leaders who might help him find “the appropriate path for healing.”

The statement issued Tuesday followed an earlier apology that acknowledged “despicable” remarks, but not the negative Jewish remarks.

“There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark,” Mr. Gibson said in Tuesday’s statement.

He continued.  “I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a D.U.I. charge. I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated or thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena.”

Gibson went on to say he wished “to take it one step further, and meet with Jewish leaders” for a “one-on-one discussion.”

Cautious optimism is being expressed by some Jews who had harshly criticized Gibson days after learning that he had obscenely blamed them for a litany of evils after his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence early on Friday morning.

The New York Times reports “Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League stating: “This is finally an apology, we’re glad that he owned up that what he said was not only offensive, but bigoted. When he’s finished with alcohol rehabilitation, we will be ready and willing to meet with him and to help him get rid of his other addiction, which is prejudice.”

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center also offered to meet with Mr. Gibson, but stated that anti-Semitism “cannot be cured in one day and certainly not through a press release.”

Disney and its network ABC said it was dropping plans to develop a Holocaust-themed mini-series in collaboration with Gibson and his company, Icon Productions.

The New York Times reported longtime ICM agent, Ed Limato “described Mr. Gibson as ‘embarrassed and ashamed,’ and said: ‘He obviously has a problem, and he’s doing everything he can to make amends. The other night was inexcusable.’ “

“For some people in my business to publicly try to destroy Mel Gibson because of this incident the other night I find very hypocritical,” he said, “since I know one or two, who even after ‘The Passion of the Christ’ have been calling Mr. Gibson and trying to entice him to their agency as a client weekly.” 

The New York Times reports that “Limato said he could not yet tell how the incident would affect Mr. Gibson’s professional future. ‘These are difficult times, and it’s too early to tell what the repercussions will be,” he said. “I hope there won’t be any.’ “

Many above and below the line craftspeople that have worked over the years with Gibson have expressed shock at the aberrant behavior he displayed.   Gibson is, and has been generally well-liked among acting peers and film crew.

 

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.