Mel Gibson has been forced to deny that his new film “Rothchild” is based on the wealthy Jewish “Rothschild” banking dynasty.
The actor’s standing in Hollywood was severely damaged over a decade ago after he launched an anti-Semitic rant at a police officer, in which he yelled “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!”
Gibson’s film career has been slowly re-emerging but he set off a new controversy after deciding to take the role of a family patriarch called Whitelaw Rothchild, the villain in a dark satire about an exorbitantly rich New York family.
Shia LaBeouf is set to play Becket Rothchild, the black sheep of the family who tries to inveigle his way back into favour.
The film’s makers have not indicated that the fictional “Rothchild” family is Jewish, but the name immediately drew comparisons to the Rothschilds.
Danya Ruttenberg, a New York rabbi, criticised Gibson’s decision to appear in the film.
She said: “It’s honestly shocking to me that he would be in this movie. I truly don’t get it.”
A spokesman for Gibson denied the film was about a Jewish family, and said those suggesting it was anything to do with the Rothschilds were wrong.