39 thoughts on “Re: Mel Gibson:

  1. I don’t buy his apology. But it sounds good, and it says the things it should say. And, after all, he’s got every right to hate Jews and think Jews are responsible for all sorts of bad things in the world. We have to remember that, just because he’s famous and Braveheart was awesome, he isn’t necessarily a rocket scientist.

  2. Well, I’m not Jewish. But as part of a different group that’s been maligned by Mr. Gibson in the past …

    It sounds good. If those are actually his words and if they accurately reflect his thoughts, then I’d say it’s a good start and I wish him well in his recovery.

    That said, I find this part pretty dubious:

    “But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot.”

    If that ranting didn’t come from his heart it came from some other part of his body. He’s still got some serious issues he needs to work on.

    (As do most of us. But it’s tough to work on that shit if one doesn’t first admit it’s there.)

  3. I…just can’t bring myself to care about Mel Gibson. I feel the same way about most celebrity news. Fluff pieces to fill air time.

  4. It is mostly there, but lacks the explicit expression to not do the behavior again.

    He hints about that when asking for help, but he never actually comes out and says it.

    It is difficult to judge his sincerity, and even if he speaks these words he is a good enough actor to fake it. I think whether one judges him sincere or not says more about the judger than it does about him.

    At least it is not the totally false apology “I’m sorry you have hurt feelings, you big baby, but that is your problem not mine.”

  5. Yeah, I don’t buy it one bit. Guy’s a bigot with a drinking problem and he got cuaght with his pants down. He needs to clean up and spend the rest of his life in community service to various Jewish civic leagues.

  6. He says some good things. I’m glad he came out and made explicit what he was apologizing for, and to whom he was apologizing. But I agree with Bearpaw, that if that sh*t didn’t come from his heart, he’d better figure out where it came from.

    I think this article has two good suggestions: That he explicitly acknowledge the Holocaust happened, and that he re-release The Passion with a disclaimer making it clear that Jews don’t bear the blood guilt for Jesus(*). That would be backing his words with his heart and his art.

    *He was asked to edit it to remove the bit where the Jews clamor: “His blood be on our heads and on the heads of our children.” He said he removed it, but actually only removed the English subtitle. What do you want to bet it’s in the Arabic & Farsi subtitles?

  7. It’s interesting he claims not to be a bigot then asks the Jewish community to help him become what? Not a bigot?

    But on the whole, I’m more interested in the B results of Landis’ blood test.

  8. Whatever he says now is a direct response to the outrage over his initial rant and his underwhelming first apology. To me the proof is in the pudding – if he goes to rehab, stays clean and follows through on reaching out to the Jewish community then it will smooth over. If not – who knows…

  9. As apologies go it’s far from perfect, but not bad. He’s of course sorry that he got himself into this mess, but I find it easy to believe that he’s also genuinely sorry for acting like a bigotted ass. But that’s only half the story, the other half is that he doesn’t do it again. I’m rather dubious on that score. Particularly if he’s in denial about being an anti-semite. Only time will tell, and I’m not particularly inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt in the meantime.

  10. Most of it sounds pretty good. The only iffy part for me is the beginning part of the third paragraph:

    The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children.

    After that outburst, he has to exercise tolerance? To me, that sounds like “I just have to accept that there are going to be Jews in the world,” which, really, just doesn’t sound kosher.

    But other than that, I thought it was pretty impressive.

    K

  11. Damn – his PR agency has some good writers. I thought it was really impressive. I have no idea whether there is any sincerity to it at all, as he is a polished and professional actor no matter what his other failings are.

    If it comes from his heart, it could represent a break from his past, and from beliefs that were drummed into him during his childhood.

    He’s ignored warnings in the past that his behavior was anti-semetic. At this point, I will only believe actions and not promises from someone like Gibson.

  12. That said, I find this part pretty dubious:

    “But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot.”

    If that ranting didn’t come from his heart it came from some other part of his body. He’s still got some serious issues he needs to work on.

    That is the section that makes the apology suspect. To be as charitable as possible, Gibson may really believe that he is not a bigot. And that’s the reason his apology is inadequate: anyone who blames the Jews for all the wars and demands to know whether his arresting officer was Jewish is an anti-Semite. If Gibson doesn’t recognize that about himself, that that aspect of his character will not change, and it will continue to affect his relationships, business decisions, and how he conducts himself.

  13. I gotta say, I’m impressed. I know it reads like a press release, and that someone with a PR degree probably wrote it for him, but two particular points caught my eye:

    I’m not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.

    This sounds to me like a step toward what I suggested in my comment on the other thread. Put your money where your mouth is, Mel. Use your wealth and your name to further some great causes out there, including efforts like Shoah, which record the stories of the holocaust survivors so others can learn from them in future generations. It will be interesting to see what the Jewish leaders he meets with suggest as the “appropriate path to healing.”

    Also, this:

    I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery.

    This sounds to me like a veiled reference to his childhood, and to some psychological scars that he has (including, but perhaps in addition to, his alcoholism). We know from the days of The Passion of The Christ that he is reluctant to speak ill of his father in public, but this strikes me as a way of acklowedging he has problems without dragging his father into it, or using it as an excuse for what he said.

    Bottom line: the proof is in the pudding. The words are fine, but his actions should speak louder than his words.

  14. Brian Greenburg:

    “It will be interesting to see what the Jewish leaders he meets with suggest as the ‘appropriate path to healing.'”

    I thought the same thing, ching-ching.

  15. Big improvement on the previous version. But now let’s see what he does about it.

    One big difference between Judaism and Christianity: in Judaism you don’t get credit for good intentions, just for what you’ve actually done. (The flip side is that you don’t get in trouble for “committing adultery in your heart”, as long as you *keep* it in your heart.)

  16. A wise man once said, alcohol doesn’t put words in your mouth, it lets the words that are in your brain out of your mouth.

    This is far from Gibson’s first public display of douche-baggery. It’s only the most public. In any event, his apology, like those of almost all overblown celebrities who get caught revealing their true natures, is solely in aid of image rehabilitation, not rehabilitation of any other (read: sincere) kind.

  17. For what it’s worth, I think he is an ass.

    That out of the way, I couldn’t be more impressed with this second apology.

    Since this is sort of a literary site, would those criticizing this version care to rewrite the thing? I’m interested to see how it could be better from a PR perspective and a sincerity perspective.

    So, what’s the new, improved version look like?

  18. My opinion about apologies is that they should be accepted until or unless the person’s further actions prove otherwise. Otherwise I think it just makes the critic look small. His 2nd apology seems to go far beyond what you’d expect from a “standard disclaimer” PR-type of effort.

    And besides, who here (including me) really knows Mel Gibson’s heart and mind? Which makes it pretty presumptous to render any judgment on him, especially if you’re basing it on media reports. I’m sorry he made those comments, and hope he gets the help he needs in battling his demons.

  19. Timmy says:
    I’m more annoyed with him for drinking and driving than I am with his remarks.
    Amen, brother – pass the plate. So what if he’s a bigot? He could have KILLED someone with his car. No one ever died because someone offended them with their words.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a dipshit for thinking these things, let alone going on a drunken rant and saying them aloud… but let’s keep the events in perspective. The sad part is, the episode was actually worse than we are being allowed to hear about (as usual). See the alleged cover-up story here.

  20. Wasn’t much of a coverup, if you ask me. The article you link to was all over the place, and right after the arrest. It’s old news by now.

  21. I’m a Jew. I’m far more bothered that Mel Gibson drove drunk than about his antisemitic ranting. Ranting is one thing. Endangering human life is another thing alltogether. Let him bash Jews all he likes so long as he sobers up.

  22. I think he’s acknowledged he said some stupid things, he admits they were stupid, he’s apologised, he’s trying to fix it. Lets move on now.

    Specifically lets move on to the sentencing for drunken driving which is the seriously fucked up part of this. I can’t belive that the media (in general sweeping terms) is more focused on his drunken rant (should try living in Glasgow, Scotland mateys then you’d hear real drunken sectarian ranting) then the fact his drunken rant came when he was pulled over by the police.

    Drink driving kills. It should be punished appropriately.

  23. One big difference between Judaism and Christianity: in Judaism you don’t get credit for good intentions, just for what you’ve actually done. (The flip side is that you don’t get in trouble for “committing adultery in your heart”, as long as you *keep* it in your heart.)

    Actually, at least from what I was taught (raised Catholic) you don’t get credit for your good intentions as a Christian either. You do get credit for bad ones if you “entertain” them–that is, if you dwell on “committing adultery in your heart” and fantasize about it a lot, etc. But you don’t get sin points for just getting angry or wetting your pants over a cute guy. And you don’t get, uh, good deed points for intending to be good.

    I also was impressed with whoever wrote this apology.

    The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children.

    After that outburst, he has to exercise tolerance?

    I didn’t get that meaning off of what he said. What I get here is his acknowleging that his actions have transgressed a (pretty central) tenet of his religion (namely, that he treat all others with charity and tolerance), and as a man who professes to be devout, this is a pretty serious thing.

    Now, of course, we wait to see if the actions follow the words. Not to mention how the drunk driving thing is handled.

  24. As one of the Elders of Zion, I’m prepared to accept the latest version of his apology, but it’s gonna cost him. Pound of flesh, my tuchis; those black helicopters burn a lot of fuel.

  25. Rhiannon & Timmy

    I think it’s pretty reasonable that I was more upset over his words than his drunk driving.

    I’m not a lawyer, but California looks to have fairly strict DUI laws. Of course it’s a lot easier on someone with money and influence. Welcome to America. But saying “We need strict DUI laws” is about 15 years behind the curve.

    So as a society, we’ve got the DUI thing more or less covered. (Sure, it’d be great to overhaul our criminal justice system to equalize for money and power. And it’d be great to have a pony too…)

    On the other hand, this guy made a great recruiting movie for anti-Semites and got plaudits for it. So when he showed his true colors, it was a big deal. I don’t think that should be illegal: I think heavy-duty social censure is the way to go. I’m happy to see that happen, I think it was entirely called for, and it might even have had the desired results. It’s sure a heck of a lot better outcome than letting it be covered up, which was the first response.

  26. The words are well-crafted, for the most part. Though frankly I find his harping on his religious tolerance a bit patronizing. It rather implies there is something that must be tolerated. That aside, I’m skeptical of his sincerity. Let him, for a start, publicly repudiate his father’s Holocaust denial and maybe I’ll believe he’s starting to work his way out of antisemitism.

  27. It’s got to be one of the most unqualified celebrity apologies I’ve ever seen. None of that “if I have offended anyone….” crap. Clearly he understands how seriously this has hurt his image. He’s not making excuses & wants to make amends.

    Of course, the statement itself isn’t enough – he’s got to follow through. The future will tell the tale. But I suspect nothing will ever truly repair the damage he did to himself.

  28. Let him bash Jews all he likes so long as he sobers up.

    I’m not following this “we be angry about one and only one thing” argument. Is it so hard to think drunk driving and anti-Semitism are inexcusable?

    I’m sure it’s one of the best apologies money can buy.

  29. Despite his fame, Mel is human just like the rest of us. He can be just as stupid and self-destructive as anyone else. The only difference is that his self-destruction just gets coverage on CNN.

    My two cents? I think he watched the news about the middle-east just like the rest of us, and it brought to the fore all that anti-semite programming from his childhood. Stuff he probably had to struggle to overcome. We’d have to have abusive wacked-out fathers like his to truly understand what he went through as a kid.

    So, yes, he made a blunder. A HUGE one. I think he knows it. I think the first apology was restricted by his lawyer and/or agent, hense it lacked sincerity. The second one, I think, is all Mel. I think he really feels bad about this.

    Some on, guys. Where’s the love? If he was your brother, would you automatically suspect he was lying? I say give him the benefit of the doubt. If he makes a real effort to make ammends (i.e., follows up on his pledge to the jewish community), I say we all forgive him. Until then, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. If he doesn’t follow through, well, I’ll be at the head of the line to the torching, holding the match.

  30. “CHRISTIAN, n.
    One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
    I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
    The godly multitudes walked to and fro
    Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,
    With pious mien, appropriately sad,
    While all the church bells made a solemn din —
    A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
    Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
    With tranquil face, upon that holy show
    A tall, spare figure in a robe of white,
    Whose eyes diffused a melancholy light.
    “God keep you, strange,” I exclaimed. “You are
    No doubt (your habit shows it) from afar;
    And yet I entertain the hope that you,
    Like these good people, are a Christian too.”
    He raised his eyes and with a look so stern
    It made me with a thousand blushes burn
    Replied — his manner with disdain was spiced:
    “What! I a Christian? No, indeed! I’m Christ.”
    G.J.
    …………..
    I advance the proposition that it is possible to find the actions of Israel reprehensible, short-sighted, and counterproductive without being an anti-semite.

    viztor

  31. Viztor:

    I advance the proposition that it is possible to find the actions of Israel reprehensible, short-sighted, and counterproductive without being an anti-semite.

    WORD! As I think I mentioned before, I’m socially a conservative. But even I am having trouble stomaching Israel’s actions. The line between them and Hezbolla is getting thinner by the day.

    When you’re killing/maiming civilians in job lots, what’s the difference between using bombs/tanks/artillery and using a suicide bomb or IED? Both are wrong.

    I got my got an email from the republican grass-roots list today, asking me to support Israel. I’m like, WHAT?? NOT! I may be conservative, but I’m not blind. Evil is evil. Doesn’t matter what uniform it wears.

  32. I hear that the shocker M. Night ending to Mel’s Holocaust film was that Hitler himself was a Jew, and WWII was a self-flagellation thing relating to Jesus and kosher sausage.

    Had Germany won WWII and stabilized the world, plans were for Hitler/Braun’s son to rule until 1991, when Hitler Jr would have outed himself in an act of remorse.

    Power then would have been handed over to David Hasselhoff. The wheels for the Hassle’s inexplicable rise to stardom were actually set in motion by the Sauerest of Krauts, who exerted influence among his (Jewish) friends in Hollywood that greased the skids for Knight Rider, Baywatch, and the Hoff’s musical career.

    Hasslehoff would- upon seizing power- rule as an iron fisted dictator. His ascent would be known as the beginning of the Fourth Reich.

    When the Russians were shelling his bunker, Hitler realized it was too late to call back the Hasslehoff Plan, and merely killed himself out of remorse.

    My friends at the Mossad tell me that- since they figured it all out in 1986- they’ve Always had an operative within 50 yards of Hasslehoff, even during the Baywatch water scenes.

  33. In shock I read these awful remarks made by a person like Mel Gibson…who relied on the Jewish people from whence cometh his bread… wake up boy apologising is not the answer the answer is ….be truly repentant. you are a good actor we all know that….

  34. Mel Gibson is a racist and a homophobe.
    I’m glad it’s been brought to everyone’s attention because people like him do not deserve our praise or money.
    I haven’t watched anything that he has done since…MadMax?!
    He’s full of himself and let’s face it, he obviously thinks his status as a ‘star’ makes him indestructible.
    I recommend everyone bans anything with his name on it or anything he is associated with.
    It’s about time people stop cutting celebrities breaks because they are famous…a racist is a racist…
    Hmmm, I wonder what other minority groups Mel hates?
    Karma will always get you!

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