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If a major broadcast network were to undertake a miniseries about a sensitive subject like, say, the Holocaust, you would assume that if they partnered up with the son of a notorious Holocaust denier (and who also directed Passion of the Christ, a film that many considered anti-Semitic), they'd be doing so for a compelling and principled reason, right? So tell us, ABC, what was the high-minded explanation for Mel Gibson's potentially explosive involvement in such a project?

But Quinn Taylor, ABC's senior vice president in charge of movies for television, acknowledged that the attention-getting value of having Mr. Gibson attached to a Holocaust project was a factor.

"Controversy's publicity, and vice versa," Mr. Taylor said.

While the baldfaced grab for controversy might seem utterly crass to us, ABC was powerless against the visionary Gibson's breathtaking pitch for the miniseries' climactic scene, a Braveheart-style battle with thousands of Jewish and Nazi combatants rushing at each other across an open field.