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May 25, 2016 7:43 am

Controversy Erupts at Cannes as Disgraced Actor Mel Gibson Presents Film Award to ‘Virulently Anti-Israel’ Director


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Mel Gibson at Cannes 2011. Photo: Georges Biard/ Wikipedia.

Mel Gibson at Cannes 2011. Photo: Georges Biard/ Wikipedia.

Controversy erupted on Sunday after disgraced actor Mel Gibson presented an award to an anti-Israel director at the Cannes Film Festival in France, according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

Gibson presented the Palme d’Or to British director Ken Loach for his film I, Daniel Blake — a move that one Hollywood insider called “blatant and boorish,” especially in light of the fact that antisemitic attacks are on the rise in France. The insider also called Loach a “virulently anti-Israel director.”

After Loach won the same award in 2006, he called for a cultural boycott of Israel. In 2009, he condemned the Toronto Film Festival for selecting Tel Aviv for its “City to City” section, and pulled his film Looking for Eric from a Melbourne festival when he discovered that Israel was a sponsor of the event.

Gibson is notorious for spewing antisemitic remarks at a Los Angeles police officer in 2006, when he was arrested for drunk driving. He ranted, “F***ing Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Shortly after his DUI arrest, Gibson issued an apology “specifically to everyone in the Jewish community” for his “vitriolic and harmful words.”

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