Hollywood seems to have fully embraced Mel Gibson’s comeback, despite his infamous anti-Semitic rant following a 2006 DUI arrest, domestic violence against his then-girlfriend, and history of racist, homophobic and sexist comments.
The actor is set to star opposite Shia LaBeouf ― no stranger to controversy himself ― in a new movie, “Rothchild,” which will begin filming this September in New York.
Deadline first reported the project Monday. It’s a satire about wealthy New Yorkers that executives will be selling to international distributors at the Cannes Film Festival, which begins in France this week.
“The project, whose title puns on the wealthy Rothschild group, charts how charismatic outcast Becket Rothchild (LaBeouf) plots his way back into his family’s riches, setting himself on a collision course with patriarch Whitelaw Rothchild (Gibson). On the way, he must infiltrate the weird and twisted lives of his super-rich kin including frat boys, hipster artists and reality TV stars,” according to Deadline.
Gibson has two other movies being sold at the glitzy and esteemed festival: “Fatman,” a comedy in which he will play Santa Claus, and “Force of Nature,” an action heist movie.
In 2017, he received an Oscar nomination for Best Director for his 2016 movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” which was also nominated for Best Picture ― marking a full comeback for Gibson, after many people in Hollywood initially distanced themselves from him in response to his history of offensive remarks.
While promoting the film, he complained that his treatment following the 2006 rant ― in which he railed against the “fucking Jews” and claimed that they were “responsible for all the wars in the world” ― was “really unfair.” (In the rant, he also referred to a female police officer as “sugar tits.”)
“I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime,” Gibson told Variety in 2016. “And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
A 2010 recording captured Gibson verbally abusing his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva: “You look like a fucking pig in heat. If you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault.”
In another recording, he admitted to physically assaulting her while she was holding their child, and told her that she “fucking deserved it.” He also used the racist slur “wetback” to refer to a Latino employee.
Responding last week to the news that Gibson will play Santa Claus in “Fatman,” actor and comedian Seth Rogen tweeted: “Ho-ho-holocaust denier” — a reference to Gibson’s previous comments appearing to minimize the Holocaust, which were made in defense of his father, who also has a history of anti-Semitic comments and Holocaust denialism.