Mel Gibson Pulled From Krewe’s Endymion Mardi Gras Parade Amid Threats

Mel Gibson may be creeping back into Hollywood favor, but that doesn’t mean the court of public opinion has forgiven him. Just one day after being named Co-Grand Marshal of the Krewe of Endymion’s 2023 Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, the organization withdrew its invitation.

Endymion President Dan Kelly released a statement Sunday setting out the reason for pulling Gibson to lead the parade along with Willie Fritz, Tulane’s head soccer coach, who led the team to a 2022-23 season led to winning the championship title. Unfortunately, the reason had nothing to do with the 67-year-old’s controversial history of sexist, homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic behavior – which, honestly, should have counted his participation out in the first place – but with unspecified threats.

“The Krewe of Endymion received significant feedback on our Grand Marshal announcement last night. Some of those comments contained threats that are of great concern to us,” Kelly wrote in a statement On Sunday afternoon. “In the best interests of the safety of our riders, special guests and everyone who greets us on the streets, Mel Gibson will not be driving as Co-Grand Marshal for our 2023 parade.”

Gibson’s career faltered in the mid-1980s when he railed anti-Semitically against a police officer who arrested him for drunk driving. A few years later, his then-wife, Oksana Grigorieva, released recordings of phone conversations in which the actor made sexist and racist statements, prompting him to be banned from contact with Grigorieva and her daughter under a domestic violence restraining order.

However, Gibson has been making a comeback in recent years, particularly after his 2016 directorial work sparked Oscar buzz metal saw burr. In November 2021 he was also given the scepter Deadly weapon 5 after the death of original director Richard Donner.

His induction into the Endymion Krewe was a bit of a head-scratcher at first as the organization tends to make safer choices for the Grand Marshal. KC and the Sunshine Band have led the parade four times, in addition to celebrities from Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi to Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson and in 1988 a team of Dolly Parton and Bud Light mascot Spuds MacKenzie.

After Gibson’s removal, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, and the Greater New Orleans Rabbinic Council released a joint statement expressing their disappointment at the decision to accept him at all.

“There is still great pain and deep wounds associated with his name in the Jewish community,” wrote ADL Regional Director Lindsay Baach Friedman. “His election as Grand Marshal of Endymion was absolutely insulting and short-sighted.”

The parade includes up to 3,200 riders on 80 floats each year with a budget of approximately $8 million. It’s currently unclear if Gibson will be replaced or if Fritz will serve as the solo Grand Marshal. Mel Gibson Pulled From Krewe’s Endymion Mardi Gras Parade Amid Threats

Lindsay Lowe

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