The Passion of Mel Gibson was stopped in its tracks

Controversial star was asked to be a Grand Marshal in New Orleans Mardi Gras parade - but invitation was rescinded


Mel Gibson (right) directs Jim Caviezel passion of christ

January 12, 2023 12:49

The New Orleans Mardi Gras is a spectacle of public drunkenness and indecency, so Mel Gibson would have fitted right in. Perhaps this was why the Krewe of Endymion, the largest of the groups that organise New Orleans’ annual bacchanal, asked Gibson to be a Grand Marshal in their 2023 parade.

To some ears, names like Krewe of Endymion and Grand Marshal evoke the Ku Klux Klan.

Tragically, the invite has been cancelled, following protests from the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of New Orleans, the Greater New Orleans Rabbinic Council, and viewers of Lethal Weapon 4.

In a joint statement, the Jewish organisations argued that Gibson’s history of making “antisemitic, racist and misogynistic slurs” should disqualify him from an esteemed role such as Grand Marshal.

Again, it’s mystifying why a fervent Catholic and penitent alcoholic like Gibson would have accepted the role at all.

The Grand Marshal’s job is to incite thousands of drunk and drugged revellers to commit acts of fornication, intoxication and mixed dancing from a slow-moving float.

It sounds purgatorial, especially if you believe in purgatory. The good news is that Gibson will not be offending the Jews of New Orleans. The bad news is that he can now concentrate on offending the Jews everywhere else.

His 2004 film The Passion of the Christ was a surprise hit, even if audiences already knew how it ended. It also represents a reversion to the old Catholic tradition of blaming the wicked Jews for Baby Jesus’ fatal run-in with the Romans.

The Passion of the Christ was religious porn, and an invitation to hate Jews, not that people need much of an invitation. It became the seventh-highest grossing film in American history. And people say the Jews run Hollywood.

A sequel is in the works. It is called, perhaps unimaginatively, Resurrection. Again, Mel is giving away the plot twist in advance.

Again, there is a silver lining to the baleful cloud that seems to follow Gibson around. This labour of Christian love has diverted him from perpetrating a fifth film in the Lethal Weapon series.

The Jews have bigger problems than the prospect of Gibson looking foolish on a Mardi Gras float. For foolish he will surely look. No one has ever looked anything but foolish on a float.
Let him have it, I say. Rather than give him the martyrdom he secretly wants, give him to the baying mob. It’s like a scene from “The Passion of the Mel”.

The Jewish organisations of New Orleans may have missed the point. Gibson said and did execrable things while drunk, but he has sobered up and apologised.

Whatever he thinks of Jews, gays, women, blacks and liberal theologians, he has kept it to himself since then. That should be enough. On these grounds, he’s entitled to his hour of glory on a float amid the sinners.

The reason that Jewish organisations should lobby against public acclaim for Gibson is the possibility that he might have been sober when he made a profoundly anti-Jewish film like The Passion of the Christ, an attempt to modernise the, er, lethal weapon of the blood libel.

And I say this despite being charmed by Gibson’s comic rehabilitation as Mark Wahlberg’s irascible, old-school absentee father in Daddy’s Home 2. It’s hilarious, and an uncomfortable reminder of the amoral power of images.

Talking of Hollywood and folly, it is with some relief that I report, following exhaustive investigation, all of it conducted online in my pyjamas, that Jews have played no part in the team that achieved the public auto-destruction of Prince Harry.

If we had, the release of his book would have been handled more professionally.

Dominic Green is a Wall Street Journal contributor, a Washington Examiner columnist and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute

January 12, 2023 12:49

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