Hollywood is the land of dreams. Hopeful writers, actors, producers, and an entire food chain of artist wait sometimes years for a chance to work on a worthwhile film project. ABC had recently green lighted a mini series that revolves around a pair of lovers trapped during the Holocaust.
Some 25 years ago there was another TV mini series called Holocaust that launched the careers of at least two of today’s mega actors, Meryl Streep and James Woods. I personally know too many actors and writers that are on the verge of living in their cars in order to fulfill their dreams of entertaining their fellow man. For the lucky ones, they finally receive an offer for their first big break that they’ve sacrificed so much to win.
Imagine you’ve waited years for your chance and your new project involves actor/director Mel Gibson and ABC cancels your job. Now you won’t get the chance to put food on your table. Apparently that’s exactly what’s happening as ABC exacts retribution against Mel Gibson for his drunken anti-Semitic rant.
I want to ask ABC and Rabbi Marvin Heir, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group that asked that this project to be cancelled to please reconsider blacklisting Mel Gibson. Why? Because of the collateral damage that will be done to so many other artist’s livelihoods that were intended to work on a meaningful project.
Forgiveness would send a much larger message to the wealthy Gibson and bigots everywhere that blacklisting him while punishing innocent and needy artists can never accomplish. I ask, if being a Jew means that you never have to forgive anyone?
Here is more directly from Mel Gibson: Tue Aug 01 2006 11:10:45 ET
August 2, 2006 -- There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of Anti-Semitic remark. 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 DUI charge.
I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologize directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.
The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.
I’m not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.
I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realizing is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery. Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.
This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognizing the consequences hurtful words can have. It’s about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad.
Read about the blacklisting here.