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    Mel Gibson Under Fire

    Lindsay Lohan's life might be looking pretty good to Mel Gibson about now.

    Whereas Lohan is being chewed out for "ongoing all-night heavy partying," Gibson is being derided as a "bigot" and an "anti-Semite." And his career is being subjected to speculation that it's endangered.

    As the Los Angeles Times put it Monday: The A-list Oscar winner "finds himself at the mercy of a Hollywood establishment that may or may not be inclined to extend forgiveness."

    Gibson's trouble began last Friday when the actor-director was pulled over by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy for allegedly speeding along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. A bottle of tequila was reportedly found in his 2006 Lexus sedan; a sobriety test allegedly was flunked.

    But it was Gibson's words--a reputed, profanity-laced rant against the "f--king Jews," who "are responsible for all the wars in the world"--that has drawn the wrath of the Anti-Defamation League, a Hollywood power agent and more than a few others who suspected that the star's 2004 Biblical epic, The Passion of the Christ, was rooted in anti-Semitism.

    "His tirade finally reveals his true self, and shows that his protestations during the debate of his film--that he is such a tolerant, loving, person--were a sham," ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that it took an excess of booze and an encounter with a traffic cop to reveal what was really in his heart and mind."

    Agent Ari Emanuel, the model for the hardcore Ari Gold on HBO's Entourage, essentially concurred with Foxman in a blog entry for the "Now we know the truth [about Gibson]," he wrote Monday. "And no amount of publicist-approved contrition can paper it over."

    Chimed in writer-director Nora Ephron in her own column: "Let's just stop to savor the moment when (in case there was any doubt about it) there's finally proof positive about how Mel really feels."

    Upping the ante, Emanuel called for a Hollywood boycott of Gibson.

    "People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him, even if it means a sacrifice to their bottom line," Emanuel urged.

    Gibson, 50, has five movies in the works as an actor, director and/or producer, per the Internet Movie Database. Chief among those projects is Apocalypto, his directorial followup to Passion.

    The movie, a relatively big-budget, absolutely no-name action-adventure set in the ancient city of Maya, is scheduled to be released Dec. 8 by Disney. As of Monday, at least, Gibson and his film did not sound as if they'd been exiled from the Magic Kingdom.

    Disney studio chief Oren Aviv told that he'd accepted Gibson's apology "to what was a regrettable situation. (It was unclear if Aviv was referring to an apology Gibson personally made to him, or a public apology Gibson issued to the press on Saturday.)

    "I've worked with Mel on several films over the years and we have a great relationship," Aviv said to "We all make mistakes."

    The studio is also in business with Gibson for a planned ABC miniseries about the Holocaust. The Disney-owned network describes the project, announced late last year, as in development. "There is no script," a rep told the Times.

    As for Gibson, he entered rehab Monday after holing up, Michael Jackson-style, with, as the Times put it, "medical, legal and spiritual advisers."

    In the statement released Saturday, Gibson denounced his actions during the arrest, copped to an alcoholic relapse, and apologized for saying "despicable" things that he does "not believe to be true."

    Foxman called the mea culpa "insufficient."

    "We would hope that Hollywood now would realize the bigot in their midst and that they will distance themselves from this anti-Semite," Foxman said.

    The ADL was one of the Jewish groups that criticized Gibson's Passion of the Christ, arguing its account of Jesus' final hours would inflame anti-Semitism. Gibson maintained that neither he, nor his film, which went on to gross more than $600 million worldwide, was anti-Semitic, and he distanced himself from remarks by his father, Hutton Gibson, that questioned the authenticity of Holocaust atrocities.

    The Holocaust miniseries for ABC, based on the true life story of a Jewish woman in Nazi-occupied Holland, was announced late last year, and was viewed as a bridge-building effort by Gibson.

    According to Newsday film critic John Anderson, as quoted by the Hollywood Reporter, the bridge has now been burned: "How many people when they are drunk and angry start lashing out at the Jews?"

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, meanwhile, is under almost as much fire as Gibson. The nitty-gritty details of its Gibson bust weren't made public until posted four pages of what it says was the original arrest report on Saturday; the standard-looking Gibson mug shot wasn't released until Monday, three days after the arrest. The department denies trying to protect Gibson from Gibson, but says its actions are under review.

    The sheriff's deputy who arrested Gibson, meanwhile, told the Associated Press that he wrote off Gibson's behavior as "[the] booze talking."

    "There's two things that booze does," Deputy James Mee said to the wire service Monday. "It amplifies your basic personality."

    While others have focused on Gibson's invectives, Mee focused on Gibson's driving.

    "I don't take pride in hurting Mr. Gibson," Mee told the AP. "What I had hoped for out of this is that he would think twice before he gets behind the wheel of a car and was drinking...I don't want to ruin his career."

    In the midst of his "f--king Jews" rant on Friday, Gibson reportedly asked Mee if he was Jewish. On Monday, the AP provided the answer: Yes, he is.

    Elsewhere, the wire service vouched for the sheriff's department's claim that it did not sanitize the Gibson arrest report. The Associated Press says its examination of the official arrest report shows that Gibson's alleged offensive words are present and accounted for.

    Gibson, who was in custody for about eight hours on Friday being released on $5,000 bail, has a Sept. 28 scheduled court date. On Monday, the sheriff's department turned over its evidence to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. D.A. spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said a decision on charges, and whether or not to file any, may come later this week.

    The jury on Gibson's Hollywood career may be out much longer.


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