Joshua Malina Calls on Hollywood to Cancel 'Jew Hater' Mel Gibson

Joshua Malina has urged Hollywood to "cancel" Mel Gibson's career, branding him a "well-known Jew-hater" in an impassioned op-ed for The Atlantic.

Former Scandal star Malina has stated that he experienced "a sense of bemusement" on learning that Gibson is set to direct the fifth installment of Lethal Weapon, a movie franchise that helped cement the latter's celebrity status.

At issue, wrote Malina in an article titled "Cancel Mel Gibson," are the accusations of anti-Semitism that Gibson has been subject to—behavior that he believes should have ended the star's career by now.

"Gibson is a well-known Jew-hater (anti-Semite is too mild). His prejudices are well documented," he said. "So my question is, what does a guy have to do these days to get put on Hollywood's no-fly list? I'm a character actor. I tend to take the jobs that come my way. But—and this hurts to write—you couldn't pay me enough to work with Mel Gibson."

While he admitted to being a fan of "the first few" Lethal Weapon films and branded Gibson's co-star Danny Glover "a gem," Malina wrote of the subject of his op-ed: "Yes, he's a talented man. Many horrible people produce wonderful art.

"Put me down as an ardent fan of Roald Dahl, Pablo Picasso, and Edith Wharton; can't get enough of what they're selling. But these three had the good taste to die. That makes it a lot easier to enjoy their output. Gibson lives. And Tinseltown need not employ him further.

"If Gibson is welcomed back to direct the latest installment of this beloved franchise, it may be time to stop publishing think pieces about the power of 'cancel culture.' Because if he can continue to find big bucks and approbation in Hollywood, cancel culture simply does not exist."

He went on: "Gibson's political beliefs are—as my father would say—somewhere to the right of Ramses (check out YouTube to see Gibson saluting Donald Trump at a UFC fight). He has said sexist things and yelled racist slurs, and that should have been enough for liberal Hollywood to cut him off. But his reported anti-Semitism has been more consistent, more open, and more egregious."

After pointing out the numerous religion-based hate crimes that Jews have faced in recent years, Malina said of Gibson: "Yes, he has denied some of the stories of his anti-Semitism, like the time Winona Ryder said he asked her if she was an "oven dodger" at a party. Color me unconvinced.

"This is the man who directed and co-wrote The Passion of the Christ, a film that, in addition to earning Rotten Tomatoes' highest audience score for a film in Aramaic (as of this writing), is also a gleeful attack on my people, portraying Jews as eager Christ-killers, a libel that has been used as an excuse to torment and murder Jews for two millennia."

Joshua Malina and Mel Gibson
Joshua Malina (L) has called on Hollywood to "cancel" the career of Mel Gibson (R) for his previous anti-Semitic remarks, after it was revealed that he is set to direct the fifth installment of "Lethal Weapon." Andrew Toth/FilmMagic;/Barry King/Getty Images

The West Wing actor Malina shared Gibson's arrest record, which included his 2008 drink-driving arrest in California, with transcripts stating that he made a series of offensive comments and said Jews were "responsible for all the wars in the world."

"There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark," Gibson said in a statement at the time, per the New York Times.

He added, in part: "I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a D.U.I. charge. I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena."

Malina also drew readers' attention to Gibson pleading "no contest" to a charge of domestic battery against his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in 2011. In 2010, a tape leaked of him using an anti-Black racial slur during a phone call with her.

"It is inarguably true that the main targets of Gibson's prejudice are the Jews, but what boggles my mind is that Hollywood is also overlooking his profound misogyny and forays into anti-Black racism," Malina continued in his op-ed.

"I wish anti-Jewish hatred alone were enough to get him cast into the wilderness, but, hey, if it has to be because of his other prejudices, I'm okay with that. Let him take the hundreds of millions he's already earned in Hollywood and retire somewhere nice to contemplate his life choices. I hear the Judean Hills are lovely this time of year.

"I write this knowing that it's more likely to lead to a boycott by Warner Bros. of Joshua Malina than of Mel Gibson. But if that's the result, so be it. I've had a nice career, baruch Hashem."

He concluded: "It would be great if higher-profile executives, producers, and actors would also take a stand. Then I could believe in this cancel culture I keep reading so much about. And I could also believe that Jews do, in fact, count."

Newsweek has contacted a representative of Gibson for comment.

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder arrives for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 19, 2020. The actress accused Gibson of making an anti-Semitic remark during a conversation they had. AFP via Getty Images/FREDERIC J. BROWN

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