Arianna Huffington, political activist and friend to many Hollywood heavies, wrote on her Huffington Post today a strongly worded challenge to the entertainment business re the Mel Gibson slur scandal. Here are excerpts: “For years, social conservatives have questioned the morals and ethics of the entertainment community — tossing around the shibboleth of “Hollywood values” as an oxymoronic grenade in the culture wars. Well, now is the time for Hollywood to show what those values really are by making Gibson pay the price for his bigotry and intolerance. For starters, the town’s power players need to step up and publicly condemn Gibson’s vile comments (in effect, saying in public what they are already saying in private conversations I and many others have had). I mean, it shouldn’t be so hard to publicly denounce someone — even an Oscar-winner — for being a raging anti-Semite. But that’s not happening… Talk about lacking the courage of their convictions. Which makes Ari Emanuel’s no-holds-barred post all the more praise-worthy. But is Ari the only high-profile figure willing to publicly draw a line in the Malibu sand? How disgusting and disappointing is that? I know this is, at its heart, a very cautious town — a place that always likes to keep one eye on the bottom line — but this is no time to play it safe or to put dollars ahead of doing the unquestionably right thing… This isn’t a matter of Jews sticking together or non-Jews showing solidarity. It’s about choosing sides in the real battle being fought all across the globe — the fight between extremism and rationality, between hatred and common decency. And Bob Iger at Disney needs to pull the plug on two Gibson projects that are in the works. The company is slated to distribute Gibson’s latest directorial project, Apocalypto, opening on December 8. They should refuse to do so. And ABC, which is owned by Disney, should, without delay, scrap its head-scratching plan to develop a miniseries about the Holocaust with Gibson’s company (yep, you read that right)…”
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