Mel Gibson withdrawn from Mardi Gras parade 24 hours after he was announced in line-up
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Featured Image Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / JT Blatty / Alamy Stock Photo
It's always a big occasion when the much-adored Mardi Gras parade finally hits the streets of New Orleans.
And that was no different when a certain A-lister was announced on the lineup - only to be withdrawn just 24-hours later.
American actor, Mel Gibson, 67, best known for his roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Mad Max and Braveheart, was revealed to be one of the grand marshals of the parade by the Krewe of Endymion - the organisers behind the event.
Set to take place just next month on February 18, there has been a last-minute change of plans regarding Gibson's involvement in this year's festivities.
According to The Post, fans were not happy about the announcement that the 67-year-old would have such a prominent role in the celebration parade.
One member of the Krewe of Endymion revealed: "Several members voiced the opinion that it is a terrible idea.
"They were irate, saying they want their membership dues back [approximately $3,000 per year] and that Gibson is an awful choice."
When explaining why members believed the decision was a 'terrible idea', the source continued: "The Coronation is a drunken affair, and I think, in the moment, their responses were chalked up to that.
"I don’t think members of the executive committee understood the ramifications of having Gibson as the grand marshal."
After the announcement, fans of the parade were quick to highlight the various discrimination Gibson has put onto marginalised groups, namely referring to his Semitic comments made in 2006 in which he told a police officer: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," according to a police report via The Guardian.
The anonymous member of the organising group explained: "People were saying how insane it was and asking what we can do to correct the mistake.
They continued: "I’m Jewish. I was shocked and disappointed. It was a huge oversight."
The president of the Krewe of Endymion, Dan Kelly, has since released a statement confirming the decision last Sunday (January 8).
The statement reads: "The Krewe of Endymion has received significant feedback about our Grand Marshal announcement.
"Some of this commentary included threats that cause us great concern.
"In the best interest of the safety of our riders, special guests and everyone that welcomes us on the streets, Mel Gibson will not ride as a co-Grand Marshal for our 2023 parade."
While many were relieved to hear about Gibson's withdrawal from the lineup, the longtime member of the Krewe of Endymion wanted to emphasise that "Mardi Gras is a fun event and not at all political.
"It is the largest free party in the world and it should be celebrated in that spirit," they concluded.