ABC on Monday canceled further development with Mel Gibson's production company of a planned TV miniseries about a Holocaust Survivor, Flory A. Van Beek. The deal, with Gibson's Icon Films, was originally greenlit by the network two years ago following the success of Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ. "Given that it's been nearly two years and we have yet to see the first draft of a script, we have decided to no longer pursue this project with Icon," an ABC spokeswoman said. No mention was made in the ABC announcement about Gibson's anti-Semitic outburst following his DUI arrest over the weekend. Earlier in the day, L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke, in an interview with Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, asked about the planned miniseries. Hier said that "it seems inconceivable" that the Flory project should be produced by Gibson. "That would be like getting somebody that has a past association with the KKK to do a film on African-Americans. The African-Americans would be up in arms. That's the way Jews feel. If you don't like the Jews, don't do a film about the central issue of modern Jewish history, the Holocaust. Gibson himself issued a new statement this morning, apologizing "specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said. ... Please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith." He offered to "meet with leaders in the Jewish community ... to discern the appropriate path for healing."




01/08/2006