Source: The Associated Press
On January 23, 2004 The Associated Press reported that "representatives of two Jewish groups who attended screenings of Mel Gibson's upcoming movie 'The Passion of the Christ' said Thursday it contained offensive stereotypes about the Jewish role in the crucifixion. The American Jewish Committee said the movie contained 'unnecessary and destructive imagery of Jews' and 'represents a disturbing setback' to relations between Jews and Christians. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, who has accused Gibson of holding anti-Semitic views, saw the film for the first time Wednesday night in Florida. He said it is an 'unambiguous portrayal of Jews as being responsible for the death of Jesus' Gibson, who directed, funded and co-scripted the film, has repeatedly denied that his movie maligns Jews. His spokesman, Alan Nierob, did not immediately respond to a request for comment."