ADL Appeals Gibson Film to be “Free of Anti-Semitic Messages”

( [email protected] ) Aug 14, 2003 03:09 PM EDT

On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League appealed on Mel Gibson’s recently film in production “The Passion” to make it free of anti-Semitic message at the last 12 hours of it film on the Life of Jesus Christ.

“We hope that Mr. Gibson and Icon Productions will consider modifying The Passion," ADL national director Abraham Foxman said, "so that the film will be one that is historically accurate, theologically sound and free of any anti-Semitic message.”

During a private screening of the film on Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the head of ADL’s office on interfaith affairs Eugene Kom talked to Gibson said he talked to Gibson about making changes to the message that it gives out.

“As one man of faith to another man of faith,” Korn hopes that Gibson would produce the film to create a mutual understanding between religions and not create hatred among the general public. “I didn't detect a positive response at that time, but I'm hoping he will still consider it,” Korn said in a telephone interview Monday.

According to Korn and other religious leaders who saw the preview, they commented that the film had changed its script from an earlier script that Catholic and Jewish leaders protested this year. Yet the script still contains some questionable scenes that are inaccurate in the historical aspect. One of the disagreements raised was the portrait of the high priest controlling Pontius Pilate, which in fact historically it was Pontius Pilate who appointed the high priest.

“This is not a disagreement between the Jews and Mr. Gibson,” Korn said in the statement. “Many theologically informed Catholics and Protestants have expressed the same concerns regarding anti-Semitism and that this film could turn back the clock on decades of positive progress in interfaith relations.”

“The Passion” is produced, directed, and co-written by Mel Gibson. Many Christians who had seen the film had praised its production. The film is expected to release by next year.