Mel Gibson pulled as Grand Marshal of Mardi Gras parade after backlash and ‘threats’

One of the organisers behind New Orleans’s annual Mardi Gras parade has removed actor Mel Gibson as its co-grand marshal, citing “significant feedback” and “threats”.

Krewe of Endymion, one of the festival’s largest parade groups, received backlash after announcing Gibson as one of their celebrity guests.

The actor has faced intense criticism in the past for making racist, anti-semitic and homophobic comments. In 2021, he came under more scrutiny after he was spotted saluting Donald Trump in a video.

“The Krewe of Endymion has received significant feedback about our grand marshall announcement,” Krewe President Dan Kelly said in a statement shared with local news.

He added: “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.”

The Independent has contacted Gibson’s representatives for comment.

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According to The Daily Beast, Endymion boasts an $8m (£6.6m) budget, deploying 3,200 riders onto its 80 floats every year.

In 2006, Gibson was arrested for suspected drunk driving in Malibu and made anti-Semitic remarks to a policeman, which he later apologised for, stating that the comments were “blurted out in a moment of insanity”.

According to a police report, Gibson asked the officer if he was Jewish and said: “F***ing Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

The actor was blacklisted by Hollywood for a time, but in 2017, he was nominated for Best Director for Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield.