Mel Gibson's 'You don't look Jewish' line falls flat
In an otherwise softball-question-filled conversation with Harry Knowles after the film’s premiere in Austin, Texas, the movie blogger asked if any of the lead “Get the Gringo” filmmaking team had any problems working with Gibson, who went on an anti-Semitic rant when arrested for driving under the influence in 2006 and recently was accused of “hating Jews” by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas.
“Get the Gringo” director Adrian Grunberg, a longtime Gibson colleague who said he wears both a Star of David and Christian necklace, said he and the “Lethal Weapon” star got along fine.
Stacy Perskie, another veteran Gibson collaborator who co-wrote the script for the prison drama with Grunberg and Gibson, then said that he was Jewish, to which Gibson replied, “Funny, you don’t look Jewish.” The line elicited a smattering of groans.
But Knowles declined to follow up or ask Gibson about his feud with Eszterhas, prompted by the shelving of a planned collaboration between Gibson and the “Basic Instinct” screenwriter on a historical drama about Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee.
There was one other opening for Gibson to apologize for any of his well-publicized transgressions. Knowles asked Gibson whether there was a most important career lesson he had learned. Gibson thought for a moment and replied, “Career lesson? Always remain an audience member. That’s the truth.”
"Get the Gringo" premieres on DirecTV on May 1; it will not be shown in theaters.
-- John Horn
Photo: Mel Gibson in "Get the Gringo." Credit: Icon Productions.