The director of the upcoming prequel series for John Wick has defended casting Mel Gibson as a prominent character in the series, saying his "personal stuff is not my business to talk about."
Albert Hughes, who is directing two of the three upcoming episodes of The Continental: From the World of John Wick, told the New York Post he cast Gibson "based on his past work that I grew up on."
"And I think he fit the role perfectly. I think once fans see it, they’ll understand why. The personal stuff is not my business to talk about," he added.
Gibson plays the role of Cormac, who manages the New York Continental in the show, which premieres on Friday.
Social media users have expressed outrage over Gibson’s casting.
"I'm so angry at this because I wanted to watch Katie McGrath (and I like John Wick movies), but I can't stomach watching Mel Gibson ever again," one wrote.
"Still so gross that Mel Gibson's career has been revived and is in a John Wick spinoff limited series," another added.
"Torn honestly. Love the John Wick franchise but despise and loathe Mel Gibson," said one user.
According to Fox News, Gibson came under fire in 2006 following an arrest for a DUI during which the star went on an antisemitic rant. He later received backlash for leaked tapes in 2010 that showed Gibson shouting racist remarks to his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Gibson later apologized for the rant, saying at the time, "There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of antisemitic remark."
"I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge," the statement continued. "I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena."
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