Mel Gibson: Ted Baehr to the Rescue

Staying with Agape, a rather odd comment from right-wing Christian “media critic” Ted Baehr about Mel Gibson:

Baehr says while Gibson’s actions are deplorable, they probably will not end his career or influence.

“The industry is not the industry of the founding fathers of the movie industry, which was predominantly an industry controlled by people out of the garment district who were Jewish,” says Baehr. “The point of the matter is that what they want are people who are team players.”

“Predominantly an industry controlled by people out of the garment district who were Jewish” seems to be a rather roundabout way of saying “predominently an industry controlled by Jews”. Uncharacteristically, however, Baehr does not pass judgement on whether it is good or bad that a drunken anti-Semitic tirade is (supposedly) less likely to end a star’s career today than in the past.

Baehr gives further thoughts over at ASSIST (caps in original):

…”Some in Hollywood are calling for Mel to be burned at the stake,” Baehr said, “but where were these people when Christians were being bashed in THE DA VINCI CODE, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, LAST TEMPATION OF CHRIST, and CLERKS II?”Mel’s behavior was shocking,” Baehr added. “However, he was very quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. No one is infallible. We are all fallen and we all need forgiveness. Mel Gibson is certainly no exception.”

Baehr also noted that the media seems to have forgotten Rev. Jesse Jackson’s characterization of New York City as “hymie town” and Rev. Al Sharpton’s comments about Jewish “diamond merchants,” not to mention Spike Lee’s racist comments about white women who date black men.

Ted Baehr has featured on this blog previously, when I noted his support of the absurd Judith Reisman in her campaign against the film Kinsey. His MovieGuide website classifies films along a supposedly Christian scale from “wholesome” to “abhorrent”; the latter category has included films such as The Story of the Weeping Camel, a National Geographic documentary about Mongolia which included depiction of Mongolian Buddhist practices (the review, as I quoted here, urged potential viewers to “Consider the Lamb of God Instead”). In 2004 Christianity Today magazine suggested that Baehr’s second business, as a film promoter, conflicts with his role as film critic; the subsequent controversy is discussed here.

UPDATE: The Guardian concurs with Baehr’s assessment of Gibson’s prospects, but has a rather different take on Hollywood’s Jewish aspect:

…in Hollywood, money talks, and by the end of the week it was becoming clear that Gibson, after serving due penitence, would be sheltered as one of Tinseltown’s own.

However:

…”Bigots have so often accused our community of being ‘run by Jews’ that I think it has entered our psyche. We have become so defensive that when faced with a disgusting incident starring a movie star, we as individuals remain relatively silent.” So wrote veteran Hollywood producer Merv Adelson in an ad in the LA Times.

…The Hollywood system was set up by eastern European Jewish immigrants early last century. As Neal Gabler suggests in An Empire of Their Own: “Hollywood Jews embarked on an assimilation so ruthless that they cut their lives to the pattern of American respectability as they interpreted it.” Hollywood’s Jews largely failed to speak out against Hitler or the Nazis until the US had entered the second world war; Jewish studio heads were complicit in the McCarthy witchhunts of the 1950s.

To some observers, that instinct still prevails: business must go on.

“Being old means I have no agenda,” concluded Adelson. “I don’t have to worry about not getting a movie made or being politically correct. Let’s make ourselves proud and not support this jerk in any way, just because he’s a so-called ‘star’.”