Friday, August 15, 2003

Very much hurt by accusations of anti-Semitism, Director Mel Gibson "softened the story" and made changes in his movie "The Passion," to placate critics, Paul Lauer, marketing director for Gibson's Icon Productions said.

He edited the film to show more "sympathetic" Jewish characters who were not calling for Jesus to be crucified, said Paul Lauer, marketing director for Gibson's Icon Productions. Some of the changed scenes include the Jewish mob calling for Jesus' blood "to be on us and on our children."

"That's in the Gospel," he said. "It's not in our film."

Religion News Service reported: "In addition, Lauer said the character of Simon of Cyrene, who was forced to carry the cross for Jesus, will be clearly labeled a Jew in the film. A shouting mob will include voices opposing the execution, Lauer said.

Faced with vocal Jewish opposition, Gibson is mounting a pre-emptive public relations offensive to counter his critics - all for a film that is still being edited. After regional screenings, Gibson has lingered with his audiences to listen to their advice. "In an effort to soothe concerns, Gibson is also hoping to launch 'The Jewish Initiative' to recruit Jewish and Christian leaders to discuss the film's effects on Christian-Jewish relations."

News courtesy of NewsMax.com.

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