This Week's 'The List' -- Mel Gibson's Dad

ByABC News
February 22, 2004, 1:13 PM

Feb. 22 -- A weekly feature on This Week.


Mel Gibson's controversial new film, The Passion of the Christ, opens Wednesday. For months, it's been generating heat and some of the biggest advance ticket sales in motion picture history. Monday will no doubt bring more of both, when the syndicated radio program, Speak Your Piece, airs a controversial interview with Gibson's 85-year-old father, Hutton Gibson. In it, he says Jews are taking over the world and calls the Holocaust "mostly fiction."

Hutton Gibson: "These people [World War II Nazis] are efficient. They know how to do things, and if they had set out to kill six million Jews, they would have done it. But all we hear about is Holocaust survivors. 'Oh, we knew it happened. Here is a survivor, there is a survivor. My father and mother were survivors.' They weren't that efficient. There were too many survivors. And they claim there were six million in Poland. After the war, there were 200,000, it is said. Therefore, he must have killed six million of them. They simply got up and left. They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn and Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles. They have to have some place to go where there is money. No, they don't work anywhere where they can get out of it. They are great pencil pushers and they are the superior people, and therefore they are entitled to the top jobs, supervisory stuff and so on."

In an interview with ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer, Mel Gibson made it clear that he loves his father but does not share his views.

Mel Gibson: "Do I believe that there were concentration camps where defenseless and innocent Jews died cruelly under the Nazi regime? Of course I do. Absolutely. It was an atrocity of monumental proportion."

Diane Sawyer: "And you believe there were millions, six million?"

Mel Gibson: "Sure.... Their whole agenda here, my detractors, is to drive a wedge between me and my father. And it's not going to happen. I love him. He is a good father."

The week also brought pictures of the biggest troop rotation since WWII. One hundred thousand troops are returning from Iraq, and Paul Bremer, America's civilian administrator in Iraq, honored their service.