Mel Gibson denies anti-Jewish reports

Updated: Apr 14, 2012, 09:58 AM IST

Los Angeles: Director-producer Mel Gibson has denied reports that he refused to make `The Maccabees` because he is anti-Semitic.

The 56-year-old says the only reason he stopped working on the Jewish movie was because of a sub-standard script, reported Deadline.

Screenwriter Joe Eszter has said the film - which he wrote - would not be made because the 56-year-old star "hated Jews" and called them "oven dodgers", but Gibson has responded saying it was simply a sub-standard script which led to the project being shelved.

"Joe, not only was the script delivered later than you promised, both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft. In 25 years of script development
I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time. The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not on any other

"Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation, I have been working on this project for over 10 years and it was publicly announced 8 years ago (sic)," Gibson said.

The project tells the tale of Judah Maccabee, a Jewish man who led a revolt against the Seleucid Empire.