11 Jan

‘Apocalypto’ protest sparks Mel Gibson outburst

first_img“She said it was a racist film toward the Mayan community,” Guagan said. At that point, Gibson remained steady, said CSUN spokesman John Chandler. “He didn’t respond with a profanity,” he said. “He responded by answering the question.” Estrada then handed the microphone to a man described by Guagan as a Mayan community leader, who began reading a lengthy statement in Spanish translated by the professor. Gibson, asked if the mic should be turned off, said “Let them continue,” Chandler said. Students were not so accommodating, according to witnesses. “Shut up,” some students said as the pair droned on. Or, “Sit down.” “People in the audience began to get restless,” Chandler said. “At one point, a member of the staff said … ‘Ask a question, or leave.’ ” When a campus police officer led Estrada and the man from the room, Guagan said, about half the class applauded. Gibson, his face red, then he fired his ballistic retort. Gibson’s parting shot, according to TMZ.com: “Make your own movie!” At the end of the hour-long session, Guagan said, the actor-director issued a half-baked apology. “He said, ‘The Mayan people that are here, they probably have a point,’ ” said Guagan, a student of cinema and television arts, “and probably they were right.” Estrada could not be reached this morning. Alan Nierob, Gibson’s publicist, was also unavailable. “This person was a heckler who was rude and disrupted the event,” Nierob explained to TMZ, “so much so that the event organizers had to escort her out.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORTHRIDGE – Actor-director Mel Gibson found himself dodging controversy today, the day after he cursed a professor at Cal State Northridge who accused him of racially stereotyping Mayans in his film “Apocalypto.” Gibson curse at Professor Alicia Estrada after she and a protestor accused the filmmaker of falsely portraying Mayan culture in his film of graphic human sacrifice. The dust-up took place before a roomful of 130 mostly film students after a late-night screening of the film. “He told her to ‘F— off lady, get a history book and read,”‘ said Josue Guagan, 22, of Van Nuys, a student in attendance at the late-night screening of the film. “I was shocked about his response. I thought he would be more civilized and it would be educational,” said Guagan, a native Guatamalan who is half Mayan. This is not the first time Gibson has been in hot water for his temper. In July, he screamed sexist and anti-semitic insults at police officers after he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Malibu. In the latest incident, university officials say Gibson’s outburst came about 20 minutes into a question-and-answer session during the Cinemateque film series. Gibson had calmly answered questions from students about the film when Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American Studies, took the microphone. Estrada challenged Gibson, saying that depictions of bloodthirsty Mayans engaging in sacrificial ceremonies was wrong. last_img read more