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Mel Gibson just can’t keep his mouth shut. The director and actor’s latest reported epithet-spewing rants (here and here) have slammed “wetbacks” and “niggers,” adding Latinos and African Americans to his hit list of those he is known to slur. Gibson has also been accused of gay-bashing based on comments he once made to a Spanish newspaper.
Earlier this week, the gossip website Radar Online reported exclusively that it had a tape recording of a phone call Gibson made to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he has an infant child who is the subject of a custody dispute. “You look like a pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault,” Gibson is said to have told Grigorieva, who recently alleged that Gibson punched her twice in the face and knocked out two teeth. Gibson added, “I am going to come and burn the fucking house down … but you will blow me first.” A day later, Radar reported it had obtained another taped phone call in which Gibson said of one of his staffers, “I will report her to the fucking people that take fucking money from the wetbacks.”
These minorities are only the latest to be targeted by the “Braveheart” star known for his uncontrollable temper. Gibson had already gone after Jews. Who can forget his outburst at a Malibu police officer in July 2006 that started with “Fucking Jews!”
It’s hard to know what drives Gibson, but his hate may be, at least in part, a Gibson family value. His father, Hutton Gibson, is a well-known Holocaust denier and anti-Semite with some seriously strange religious beliefs, at least some of them apparently shared by his son.
Hutton Gibson is an important player in the shadowy world of “radical traditionalist Catholicism,” also known as “integrism” or Catholic separatism. This religious subculture’s teachings have little in common with the modern Roman Catholic Church and its universalistic theology and have been denounced by the Vatican. In particular, radical traditionalists exhibit anti-Semitic views, which are explicitly denounced by the Roman Catholic Church.
Hutton Gibson believes the Second Vatican Council reforms of the 1960s, which made the church vastly more tolerant of other faiths including Judaism, were the result of “a Masonic plot backed by the Jews.” He is particularly incensed by the council’s historic declaration, “Nostra Aetate,” which condemned “all hatreds, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews.” In Hutton Gibson’s world, the Second Vatican Council’s liberalizing reforms are rejected and anti-Semitic teachings and conspiracy theories are heartily embraced.
Hutton Gibson has also worked with leaders of the radical racist right. As it happens, James Edwards, host of the racist Tennessee radio show “The Political Cesspool,” today issued a rant attacking actor Eli Roth. Roth, who played a violent Jewish partisan in World War II in the film “Inglourious Basterds,” apparently had criticized Edwards’ show in a tweet. Edwards today claimed that Roth’s ire was raised by the fact that Hutton Gibson had appeared on the show and because of Radar’s report of his son ranting about “niggers.” (Edwards went on to describe Roth as a “pervert.”)
Mel Gibson has long defended his father, telling a reporter in 2006, “My father has never told me a lie.” Gibson said of father’s Holocaust denial: “He never denied the Holocaust. He just said there were fewer than 6 million” Jews murdered in the Nazis’ concentration camps.
Like father, like son. Mel Gibson has his own traditionalist house of worship near Los Angeles — a church, funded entirely by him, that is not recognized by the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese. It is unclear what is said in the hallowed halls of the Holy Family Chapel, since, unlike virtually all other Catholic churches, it is closed to the public. What is known is that Gibson is reported to have blamed Jews for forcing him to cut a scene, in which Jews and their descendants are held responsible for the murder of Christ, from his 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ.” Sounding a bit like he did that July night in Malibu, Gibson, speaking of Jews, told The New Yorker: “If I included that in there, they’d be coming after me at my house. They’d come to kill me.”