Less than 24 hours after announcing Mel Gibson would co-grand marshal its 2023 Mardi Gras parade, the Krewe of Endymion rescinded its invitation to the Hollywood star on Sunday.
“The Krewe of Endymion has received significant feedback about our grand marshal announcement,” said Dan Kelly, president of the krewe, a group that organizes parades for Mardi Gras, according to WVUE-TV. “Some of this commentary included threats that cause us great concern.”
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“In the best interest of the safety of our riders, special guests, and everyone that welcomes us on the streets,” he continued, “Mel Gibson will not ride as a co-grand marshal for our 2023 parade.”
Jewish groups were among those condemning the krewe for inviting Gibson to co-lead the parade alongside Tulane University football coach Willie Fritz.
The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, and the Greater New Orleans Rabbinic Council issued a joint statement, saying they were “appalled” by the choice.
“Mel Gibson has a long history of making antisemitic, racist, and misogynistic slurs,” the statement read. “While the actor has made half-hearted attempts to apologize for his remarks over the years, there is still a great deal of pain associated with his name and deep wounds in the Jewish community from those controversies, which may never heal. Given his history of fueling antisemitism and other forms of hate, we find his choice as grand marshal of Endymion was completely insulting and shortsighted.”
“Although we are relieved he is no longer riding, we hope the Endymion leadership will take the opportunity to learn why the selection of Mel Gibson caused such pain and disappointment to the Jewish community, as well as the marginalized communities he has harmed in the past,” it continued.
Gibson, 67, has faced criticism in recent years, following a bout of legal issues, including a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction as well as statements widely panned as antisemitic. The celebrity has apologized for his past behavior, citing his struggle with alcoholism dating back to his teenage years.
The actor first made a name for himself in the “Lethal Weapon” and “Mad Max” films before becoming a force to be reckoned with for starring in and directing “Braveheart.” Then, in 2004, he debuted his beloved film, “The Passion of the Christ,” which became a mega-hit movie.
As CBN News recently reported, Gibson is slated to begin production on the film’s sequel, “The Resurrection,” this spring.
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