Report from Louisiana: Gibson out as Endymion Grand Marshall

Posted: January 9, 2023 by Pat Austin in Uncategorized
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 By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Epiphany has come and gone and now it is Mardi Gras season. This is a very big deal in Louisiana and of course especially in New Orleans who relies on those tourist dollars in a big way.

One of the major krewes in New Orleans, Endymion, announced over the weekend that the Grand Marshall of their parade would be actor Mel Gibson.

Now, when I read that shortly after the announcement, I admit, my very first thought was…”Ooooo his father is a Holocaust denier…is Mel Gibson even relevant?” Then I let it go and moved on about my day.

And then later I opened my news feeds and Gibson is out.

As it turns out the outcry against Gibson as an anti-Semite and a racist was enough to cause Endymion to walk back their choice:

Local Jewish leaders were outraged that Endymion had sought to celebrate Gibson, given the celebrity’s history of antisemitic and offensive remarks and outbursts. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Rabbinic Council issued a joined statement saying they were “appalled that Endymion chose Mel Gibson as the parade’s 2023 Grand Marshal to begin with.”

The statement said, “Mel Gibson has a long history of making antisemitic, racist and misogynistic slurs. While the actor has made half-hearted attempts to apologize for his remarks over the years, there is still a great deal of pain associated with his name and deep wounds in the Jewish community from those controversies, which may never heal. Given his history of fueling antisemitism and other forms of hate, we find his choice as Grand Marshal of Endymion was completely insulting and shortsighted.

“Although we are relieved he is no longer riding, we hope the Endymion leadership will take the opportunity to learn why the selection of Mel Gibson caused such pain and disappointment to the Jewish community, as well as the marginalized communities he has harmed in the past.”

Well. That didn’t take long.

I don’t really follow pop-culture much so while I did remember reading about Gibson’s father years ago, I did not actually know that Gibson had the same reputation against Jewish people. I personally find it abhorrent, if true. A quick internet search finds several documented instances to support these claims, and the concerns of the ADL. I won’t link them because it is disgusting and if you want to read that garbage you can find it, easily.

For me, I’m eschewing “city” Mardi Gras once again this year in favor of the Cajun tradition of courir de Mardi Gras. Now that…THAT is Mardi Gras! Oh my heavens what an experience!

As for Mel Gibson, well, as of this writing he has not issued a statement.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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