Well folks, I'm glad we got that pesky question settled...
Is Mel Gibson an anti-Semite? Until his recent drunk-driving arrest, the only way to investigate that hypothesis was to study Gibson's controversial 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, or to puzzle out why Gibson, in an interview with Peggy Noonan for Reader's Digest, declined to put any distance between himself and his father's crackpot view that the Holocaust never occurred. "[I]f someone denies the Holocaust one day and makes a film accusing Jews of Christ-killing the next day," my Slate colleague Christopher Hitchens reasoned, "I have to say that if he's not anti-Jewish then he's certainly getting there." There remained at least a theoretical possibility that this was all just a terrible misunderstanding. That possibility no longer exists. The best case that can be made for Gibson's belief system now is that he's anti-Semitic only when he's three sheets to the wind. And really, now. Are you in the habit of declaring, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" when you get pie-eyed? Or simply of muttering, "Fu**ing Jews"? Or of asking your arresting officer, "Are you a Jew?" (Here Gibson revealed an anti-Jewish bigotry so all-consuming that he couldn't even get his ethnic stereotypes straight. The Jews control international banking, Mel. It's the Irish who control the police.)
For good measure, Gibson turned on a policewoman observing his meltdown and said, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar t*ts?"
There's more. Read the police report. In vino veritas indeed...
But it gets weirder. Mel was apparently directing a TV series for ABC on the Holocaust. Naturally, ABC has decided not to proceed and the project is canceled. Mel has checked himself into rehab (a move we applaud) and now Disney is having doubts about Gibson's latest film, Apocalypto. Clearly, this drunken outburst will not bode well for his career.
There's a moral here for all of us. I suppose the bigots among us could point to Gibson's troubles and say, "see, the Jews DO control Hollywood!" But that arguement is crap.
I think the real moral is this: Nothing turns one of the beautiful people uglier faster than when they display intolerance and bigotry. Men like Gibson are held up as role models and when the behavior of our role models is less than honorable, it hurts all of us. Those who are wiser might point out that perhaps Hollywood actors probably aren't the best role models for our society, a point to which I would agree.
As a Freemason I kind of think that providing men who are good role models for our communities is OUR responsibility.