Mel Gibson Addresses Accusations of Anti-Semitism

ByABC News via GMA logo
October 12, 2006, 7:29 AM

Oct. 13, 2006 — -- Actor-director Mel Gibson told Diane Sawyer today that he was "ashamed" by the remarks about Jews he made during his July arrest for driving while intoxicated.

As most people have heard, Gibson is devoutly religious, which is what inspired him to make "The Passion of the Christ."

His church is a Catholic splinter group called traditionalist Catholics. The group feels the modern Catholic Church has abandoned the real faith.

His father, 88-year-old Hutton Gibson, is well known for his writings that attack the Vatican.

Gibson's church believes in the Latin Mass and literal reading of the Bible. Gibson has talked about a war of biblical proportions, though no one can say when it will happen or where.

On the night of July 28, Gibson said he knew what might have been in his mind as he drunkenly said, "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

"That's fear related, OK? So, you know, you have your own fears about these things," he said on "Good Morning America."

"Now, maybe it was just that very day that Lebanon and Israel were at it, you know," Gibson said of that night.

It was the 17th day of the raging war in Lebanon. A lot of people were worrying that the crisis was escalating out of control.

"Since I was a kid in the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and now in the new millennium, you can read of an ever-escalating kind of conflagration over there in the Middle East that I remember thinking when I was 20, man, that place is going to drag us all into the black hole, you know, just the the difficulty over there," he said. "You start thinking will I ever see my grandchildren grow up? What's going to become of the world? What's going to press the button?"

"But there's a difference between saying that place is a tinderbox and the constellation of things happening there could take us all down, and saying the Jews are responsible for all the wars," Sawyer said.

"Well, I did," he said of his comment to the officer that night.

"The Jews are responsible?" Sawyer said.

"Well. Strictly speaking, that's that's not true because it takes two to tango," he said. "What are they responsible for? I think that they're not blameless in the conflict. There's been aggression, and retaliation and aggression. It's just part of being in conflict, and being at war. So, they're not blameless."