Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Rabbi: Only Mel Gibson can ask for forgiveness
A Rabbi said that only Mel Gibson, not Robert Downey Jr. or anyone else, can ask for forgiveness.
While accepting the American Cinematheque Award Friday, Downey urged the Hollywood community to forgive Gibson for his recent troubles. He and Gibson acted together in Air America(1990).
“I urge you to forgive my friend his trespasses,” Downey said. "Allow him to pursue this art without shame."
However, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that only Gibson can seek and receive forgiveness for his actions.
"The sins between man and his fellow man can only be forgiven if the person who committed the sin asks for forgiveness from those whom he shamed and insulted and caused harm to," he said Monday.
Hier also noted that Gibson’s recent decision to make a movie about religious leader Judah Maccabee doesn’t help the issue either.
"You can't ask forgiveness indirectly through a movie," Hier said. "You can't do it by saying, 'Look at the part that I have. I'm producing a film about a Jew.'"
Hier said there are numerous ways that Gibson could have expressed regret and a desire to reform, and that the actor/director has availed himself to none of them.
Gibson first became a pariah in the filmmaking industry when he was arrested for drunk driving in 2006. He made anti-Semitic remarks during his arrest. A few years later, his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, recorded racist rants from the actor/director.
The Anti-Defamation League has asked Warner Brothers to remove Gibson from the film project.