Mel Gibson will not be attending the Mexican premiere of his new film APOCALYPTO, because some Mayans are angered by his portrayal of their ancestors.
The Lethal Weapon star, who employed Mayans to tell the story of how the pre-Columbian people built a civilisation in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, has been criticised for showing them as a violent race who often carry out beheadings and human sacrifices.
Some Mayan descendants find the film - which features characters speaking in the Mayan language - derogatory. However, Gibson insists he wants the film to encourage young people to speak the language "with pride".
Gibson's publicist ALAN NIEROB confirmed Gibson would not be attending the Mexican premiere next week (begs15JAN07).
Apocalypto has broken box office records for foreign language films in its opening weekends in several countries, including Britain. It has also earned a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign-language film.