The film “Rothchild,” which will star Mel Gibson, has nothing to do with the Jewish Rothschild family, the actor’s rep said in a statement defending the project.
“I feel the need to spare you any embarrassment as I’m told this film is about a fictional family (hence the name ‘Rothchild’) vs the family to which you are referring,” Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob wrote in an email to the Daily Beast Monday night.
“Completely unrelated to your premise and angle. Hopefully this is helpful to you.”
The casting of Gibson — known for a drunken anti-Semitic rant in 2006 and for promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes in his 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” — as a super-rich character with a name so similar to the banking dynasty at the heart of many global anti-Semitic conspiracy theories had raised eyebrows on social media on Monday.
The Daily Beast noted that Nierob did not address his client’s past anti-Semitic comments, and that the Anti-Defamation League and World Jewish Congress have not responded to requests for comment.
According to the Hollywood news website Deadline, “The project, whose title puns on the wealthy Rothschild group, charts how charismatic outcast Becket Rothchild (LaBeouf) plots his way back into his family’s riches, setting himself on a collision course with patriarch Whitelaw Rothchild (Gibson). On the way, he must infiltrate the weird and twisted lives of his super-rich kin including frat boys, hipster artists and reality TV stars.”
Since the 18th century the Rothschilds have been one of Europe’s wealthiest families. Rothschild donations in the 19th and 20th centuries were crucial to the survival of the early Zionist settlements in Palestine, and the family continues to give philanthropically in Israel and elsewhere.