Beliefnet
Excerpts from ABC News/Primetime correspondent Diane Sawyer's interview with Mel Gibson, broadcast on Feburary 16, 2004.



Who Killed Jesus?

Diane Sawyer: Who killed Jesus Christ?

Mel Gibson: The big answer is, we all did. I'll be first in the culpability stakes here, you know.


Is Mel Gibson Anti-Semitic?

Sawyer: Are you anti-Semitic?

Gibson: No, of course not...And here's the other thing. For me, it goes against the tenets of my faith, to be racist in any form. To be anti-Semitic is a sin. It's been condemned by one Papal Council after another. There's encyclicals on it, which is, you know- To be anti-Semitic is to be un-Christian, and I'm not.

Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League National Director: ...This is his vision, his faith. He's a true believer, and I respect that. But there are times that there are unintended consequences...

Sawyer: Do you think Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite?

Foxman: No, I do not. No, I do not...

Sawyer: Do you believe this is an anti-Semitic movie?

Foxman: No, I do not believe it's an anti-Semitic movie. I believe that this movie has the potential to fuel anti-Semitism, to reinforce it.


Mel's Views on the Holocaust

Gibson: You know, 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.

Sawyer: Are you looking into the face of a particular kind of evil with the Holocaust?

Gibson: Of course. You're looking- yes...

Sawyer: ...What is the particular evil there?

Gibson: ...what's the particular evil? I mean, why do you need me to tell you? It's like, it's obvious. They're killed because of who and what they are. Is that not evil enough?...


Gibson on the Point of His Film

Gibson: He was beaten for our iniquities. He was wounded for our transgressions and by his wounds we are healed. That's the point of the film. It's not about pointing the fingers. It's not about playing the blame game. It's about faith, hope, love and forgiveness...It is reality for me...I believe that. I have to.

Sawyer: You have to?

Gibson: I have to.

Sawyer: For?

Gibson: For my own sake...So I can hope. So I can live.


Gibson on Placing Blame

Gibson: ...And I don't want, you know, people to make it about the blame game. This is not about the blame game. It's about faith, hope, love and forgiveness. That's what this film is about. It's about Christ's sacrifice.


God's Influence on Gibson's Filmmaking

Sawyer: Do you believe God wrote this film?

Gibson: (LAUGHTER) Wow. God ordains everything. God made my bed, you know? It's -- you know, that gets into semantical kind of like questions like my kids ask me. Did God make the car? You know, it's - nothing happens by chance...

Sawyer: I think it's one of the things that worries and concerns, some of the critics...that this is presented as truth...But if God ordained it; if God was moving through you to direct it...You're saying this is the version.

Gibson: No, not at all. It's not at all. It really is my vision... I'm not taking myself out of the equation here. I'm the proud bugger. I did this. But, I did it with God's help. I mean we - I breathe with God's help.

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