Mel Gibson has hit back at screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who claimed the Oscar-winning actor said John Lennon "deserved to be shot". In a nine-page letter to TheWrap.com, the writer blasts Gibson for his anti-Semitic comments and vile rants during their time working together on the movie The MACcabees.
Eszterhas claims Gibson, 53, said of Lennon, "I'm glad he's dead. He deserved to be shot. He was f***ing messianic. Listen to his songs! Imagine. I hate that f***ing song. I'm glad he's dead". The spat has erupted after the actor dropped plans to make a film with Eszterhas about the Jewish biblical hero Judas MACaabee. In his furious open letter, the screenwriter tells Gibson, "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The MACcabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.You continually called Jews 'Hebes' and 'oven-dodgers' and 'Jewboys'. It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked 'He's a Hebe, isn't he?". In his own letter to Deadline.com, Gibson has fired back, branding the allegations a "pack of lies". He claims the movie was axed because of a bad script, saying, "Not only was the script delivered later than you promised, both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft.In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time".
It's not the first time Gibson has been accused of anti-Semitism, not least for the imagery used in his movie 'The Passion of the Christ'. The actor denied that the film was anti-Semitic, but the critics remained divided.