Controversial actor and director Mel Gibson allegedly said that “Jewish people” stole an early copy of his 2004 movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” and used it against him before its release.
U.S. television and radio personality Glenn Beck said last Friday Gibson made the remarks in August, while the two men were having a discussion after a screening of Gibson’s new movie, “Hacksaw Ridge.”
According to Beck, Gibson said, “They [the Jews] actually went in and stole the movie.”
“The Passion of the Christ” sparked immense controversy upon its release. Many critics saw the movie, which garnered $612 million in ticket sales, as anti-Semitic, showing Jews in an unfavorable light and imposing responsibility on them for the crucifixion of Jesus.
Two years later, in 2006, Gibson again caused controversy after making anti-Semitic remarks to a Jewish police officer who had stopped him for driving while intoxicated.
As a result of his apparent anti-Semitism, Gibson’s reputation has suffered considerably in recent years.
In response to Beck’s statement, the former executive director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Abraham Foxman, disputed the claims of theft. Foxman said a Jewish religious adviser to “The Passion of the Christ” sent a version of the screenplay to the ADL, where a team of Jewish and Christian biblical scholars wrote a critique. According to Foxman, when Gibson received the critique, he “went berserk and threatened to sue us, so we returned the script.”
Hours after the story was published last Friday on Beck’s website, glennbeck.com, it was removed for revealing “details of an off-the-record conversation,” the Daily Beast reported on Thursday.