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Mel Gibson won't ride in Endymion parade as co-Grand Marshal due to safety concerns, 'threats'

1 year 6 months 3 days ago Sunday, January 08 2023 Jan 8, 2023 January 08, 2023 3:45 PM January 08, 2023 in News
Source: WVUE
Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images via WWL-TV

NEW ORLEANS - Just 16 hours after announcing actor-director Mel Gibson would ride with the Krewe of Endymion as co-Grand Marshal of their 2023 Mardi Gras parade, the krewe rescinded the decision Sunday afternoon.

In a statement Sunday, Endymion captain Dan Kelly cited safety issues and "threats" as the reason for removing Gibson from the parade, according to WVUE.

The krewe announced at their annual coronation ball Saturday night that Gibson would join Tulane University football coach Willie Fritz as co-Grand Marshal, leading Endymion and its more than 3,000 riding members on its Carnival parade set to roll on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The inclusion of the 67-year-old Academy Award winner was a polarizing choice for many, according to the news outlet.

Gibson rose to fame as an actor in the “Mad Max” and “Lethal Weapon” franchises, and was awarded People Magazine's first-ever “Sexiest Man Alive” title in 1985. He won his first Best Director Oscar and a new level of cachet helming and starring in 1995's Best Picture winner “Braveheart.”

But Gibson’s status in Hollywood declined with a series of controversies and legal troubles that included a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction, and statements in which he assailed Jews, homosexuals and used racial epithets.

Gibson apologized for many of the incidents and remarks, attributing some of his behavior to a history of alcohol abuse that he said dated to his early teens, WVUE reports.

Read Endymion captain Dan Kelly's full statement about the decision below:

The Krewe of Endymion has received significant feedback about our grand marshall announcement yesterday evening. 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.

We appreciate the cooperation of the city in addressing the issues that will allow us to present another wonderful parade this year along our entire route. We will move forward with our final preparations in the coming weeks for the largest procession in Carnival.

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