Mel Gibson Attacks Professor Alicia Estrada

Alicia Ivonne Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American Studies at Cal State, Northridge, asked Mel Gibson yesterday night if he’d done his homework on ancient Mayan culture before filming “Apocalypto.” Clearly it was a rhetorical question rife with opportunities to set the proverbial record straight but it was an opportunity not taken by Gibson. He reportedly told Dr. Estrada, “Lady, fuck off.”

I’m glad somebody finally took Gibson to task for the historically inaccurate depiction of “blood-thirsty” Mayans (among other things). Now, of course, we all know about “filmic license” but it seems clear to me that portraying, say, Athenians as pedophiles and misogynists would be missing the point as much as painting the Maya as a blood-and-gore civilization; which is what makes Gibson’s poetic license not only historically inaccurate but abhorrent for the type of Amerindian violence that it reproduces.

When you consider the Maya legacy, as one of the greatest world civilizations, in relation to the ignorance that abounds about the other Américas, an ignorance that Mr. Gibson seems bent on reproducing, then Dr. Estrada should not only be commended, but also given a public opportunity to let Gibson know why he is so damn ignorant.

Here is the complete text from the SF Gate: Daily Dish:

Gibson Loses His Temper Over Professor’s Comments

Mel Gibson has been caught up in a new controversy after telling an Central American Studies professor to “[bleep] off” during a tense press conference.

The movie mogul, who made headlines last summer for anti-Semitic comments he made during a drunk driving arrest, was addressing a film class at Cal State University at Northridge Thursday night when the professor questioned the accuracy of his “Apocalypto” film.

Alicia Estrada asked Gibson if he had read about the Mayan culture before shooting the controversial film, suggesting that some of the bloodthirsty, sacrificial scenes in the film were both wrong and racist.

According to, Gibson suddenly exploded in anger, responding, “Lady, [bleep] off.”

Gibson also became angry when members of the Mayan community protested on how they were portrayed in the film during the lecture. They were escorted out of the room.

See anthropologist Traci Arden’s reaction to the film last year here.

Mel Gibson Attacks Professor Alicia Estrada

3 thoughts on “Mel Gibson Attacks Professor Alicia Estrada

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is America. Don’t like a movie? Put your money where your mouth is and boycott it. Otherwise do like Mel said and “f-off, make your own movie”.Artistic license is a bitch, get used to it crybabies.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i am becoming less and less surprised that the “academics” take stances that have no basis in fact. The bottom line is that the depiction in the film, though factual, did not fit Alicia’s or your tastes so you play the role of someone who “knows better” and denounce it. That is great but the fact is that these things happened, whether it goes against your delicate sensibilities or not.Children all.

  3. Jan says:

    It appears think anonymous person thinks they are an expert on Mayan culture. I’ve studied it a bit, and my conclusion is that the movie is bullshit. The Mayan culture is amazing. Human sacrifice did happen, but not to the extent that it did in the movie and the portrayal of Mayan people was incredibly inaccurate. It seems that Mel just wanted to prove that Mayans deserved the genocide that would be coming to them.

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