Mel Gibson - Reuters - 11092011
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The Anti-Defamation League slammed Warner Brothers on Friday for reportedly teaming up with actor Mel Gibson on a movie based on the life of Judean hero Judah Maccabee.

Gibson has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks publicly, and came under fire for his depiction of Jews in his 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ." "We would have hoped that Warner Bros. could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps even star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee," ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement Friday.

Foxman added: "Not only has Mel Gibson shown outward antagonism toward Jews and Judaism in his public statements and actions, but his previous attempt to bring biblical history to life on the screen was marred by anti-Semitism."

The ADL director accused Gibson of showing contempt for both Jewish and Christian leaders who attempted to reason with him about his questionable portrayal of Jews in "The Passion of the Christ," saying if Gibson had made changes to the film "his passion of hate [may have been turned] into a passion of love."

Foxman said it would be a "travesty to have the story of the Maccabees told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people's religious views."

He called on Warner Brothers to reconsider Gibson's involvement in the project, though he acknowledged the actor's right to make the film should he choose.