There isn’t much to say about Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic remarks when he was arrested for DUI last Friday. Claiming that Jews have started all wars was simply idiotic—the sort of statement you would expect from a drunk. It does not show that he is at heart anti-semitic any more than his motion picture, The Passion of Christ does. Drunks say outrageous things that are not necessarily latent feelings that sobriety suppresses. (Freud has long ago been discredited and in vino veritas applies only to Romans.)
As Gibson says in his ostensibly abject apology, public figures must be more careful than mere mortals like the rest of us and he should not have said what he did. That is obvious. I see no point in publishing it, either. He is an actor and director of motion pictures. His views on Jewish history certainly aren’t newsworthy. His appeal to the Jewish community (whatever that is) to help him in the healing process strikes me more as a gratuitous attempt to put the ball in the Jewish community’s court than evidence of his sincerity.
So why do I bring it up? Well, he said it and any kind of speech is fair game for a language blog. The question here is one of semantics—what did he actually mean when he made his antisemitic statements? I have no more idea whether he is antisemitic now than I was before all the hoopla. And I don’t care so long as he is not actively opposing Jewish interests.
For me, neither his personality nor character is at issue, only the quality of the films he creates. I simply resent his use of the English language to publish this sentiment whether it is sincere or not. It doesn’t matter who said it. There is nothing newsworthy in it and it certainly doesn’t deserve repeating.