Director and actor Mel Gibson has been quietly teaming up with director Zane Buzby to help holocaust survivors for the past several years.
Gibson, recent director of “Hacksaw Ridge”, has partnered up with the Survivor Mitzvah Project to provide “emergency aid to Holocaust survivors in eastern Europe who are in desperate need of food, medicine, heat and shelter” in addition to “friendship and hope,” according to founder of the charity, Zane Buzby, who told Extra last week.
Buzby is known for her directing on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “Married … with Children,” along with several other programs.
Buzby said that the goal of the Survivor Mitzvah Project is to “make sure that no Holocaust survivor who has endured the darkest days of human history will ever be hungry again or suffer or be forgotten or neglected.”
However, Gibson has been questioned about an anti-Semitic rant that occurred when he was intoxicated in 2006. While being arrested in Malibu, California, Gibson said, “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Gibson called his previous actions “unfortunate” in a podcast interview with Variety.
He explained in an interview:
“I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely, if I was really what they say — I was, some kind of hater — there’d be evidence of actions somewhere.”
“I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation,” he said. “And for one episode in the back of a police car, on eight double tequilas, to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work, and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”
One source reached out to People Magazine, stating that Gibson has been determined to direct his life away from this behavior.
“Mel has showed some remorse over his past behavior,” the source said. “Mel wants to be remembered for his work. He has worked on his issues and has definitely shaped up.”
Buzby spoke positively of Gibson as well, saying that he has “educated himself” on the Holocaust:
“He’s done philanthropic work now, and I think that actions speak very loudly … and his actions have helped a lot of people.”
The founder also said it’s “remarkable” that Gibson has helped survivors in eight countries, adding that he has “been to the office and personally learned about” the charity, helped raise funds for the charity, and gotten others involved as well.
Buzby said, “Mel feels great compassion for what this organization does, and he doesn’t publicly promote most of his philanthropy but quietly helps out.”
She added, “I have a great respect for people who turn their lives around. I think that everyone makes mistakes in life, and I think the real proof of what kind of human being you are is what you do with that mistake.”