Yes, it’s true that Mel Gibson cursed an assistant professor and Mayan community leader — but only after the duo disrupted a question-and-answer session at a Southern California University which was screening his Apocalypto Thursday night. That’s something the Internet gossips have failed to point out. Here’s what Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob tells me happened at Cal State Northridge after Central American Studies assistant professor Alicia Estrada and her friend heckled him during the school’s Cinemateque film series. “The event organizers threw her and her friend out of the event as they were rude, disruptive and the crowd had yelled at them to give up the microphone (which they didn’t) and to sit down and shut up. Mel told her to fuck off and make her own movie after they accused him of racial stereotyping in his film Apocalypto.” Nierob’s account jibes with that in Friday’s Los Angeles Daily News, but online gossips are trying to portray Gibson’s curse as unprovoked. The actor/director at first calmly answered questions about the film from 130 students, many of whom had stood in line for hours just to hear the actor/director/producer speak. Twenty minutes in, Estrada took the microphone and said Gibson’s graphic portrayals of bloodthirsty Mayans engaging in human sacrificial rites were wrong. “She said it was a racist film toward the Mayan community,” a student Josue Guagan, 22, who says he is half-Mayan, related to the Los Angeles Daily News. But Gibson still remained patient in answering. Then Estrada handed the mike to her friend described as a Mayan community leader, who began reading a lengthy statement in Spanish translated by the teacher. Gibson was asked if their mike should be turned off. “Let them continue,” he said. But some students yelled out “shut up” and “sit down” at the protesters. Finally, a campus police officer ended the disruption by leading Estrada and her friend from the room. About half the class applauded. Gibson, his face now red, fired back with his expletive. “He told her to ‘Fuck off, lady, get a history book, and read,” student Guagan recounted. His parting shot was “Make your own movie!” Of course, any Gibson outburst makes news after his drunken anti-Semitic rant during his arrest last summer. That scandal pretty much sank Apocalypto‘s Oscar chances. But no less than actor/filmmaker Robert Duvall was just quoted in Premiere magazine as saying he voted it for Best Picture. “I don’t care what anybody says… It’s maybe the best movie I’ve seen in 25 years. Brilliant… I’d never seen anything like it.”
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