For those unfamiliar with the story, Mel Gibson was arrested for suspicion of DUI early friday morning. That in itself is not especially remarkable or outrageous. His BAC was reportedly 0.12%. Over California’s legal limit of 0.08% but not stinking drunk. More like mildly buzzed.
The controversy in this story has been about his behavior towards arresting officers and particularly about an alleged anti-semitic tirade:
There was a lot more bad behavior alleged in the leaked police report, including threats to the officers, throwing a phone and calling a female officer “sugar tits,” but obviously the anti-semitic stuff is the most damaging to Gibson’s reputation and credibility.
But then the story gets curiouser.
The Department is now saying they will issue a complete, unredacted and “unsanitized” report of the arrest but the question still remains as to why they should have even thought of covering it up in the first place.
Gibson has since issued an apology:
Anyway, the story raises a number of questions and I’m curious about people’s reactions to them.
Is it common for the police to cover up or “sanitize” the details of celebrity arrests? Is that legal?
Do you buy Gibson’s apology? From what I know about alcohol and alcoholism, it can certainly make you say things you’d like to take back, but does it realy make you say things you don’t mean at all. Bear in mind that Gibson was not all that drunk. I don’t believe that being a little buzzed will typically cause people to say things that would normally be completely antithetical to how they really think and feel. If we hear a drunk ranting about “niggers,” we don’t typically give him a pass or buy the excuse that the alcohol made him say it.
For what it’s worth, I do believe Gibson’s apology spunds substantially sincere and not just self-serving. I believe he IS ashamed of himself and has genuine remorse. I’m not sure I buy that the anti-semitic remarks were not indicative of his true feelings, though.
How will this affect Gibson’s career? I’ve been looking forward to his upcoming movie, Apocalypto about the ancient Mayans. Personally, I don’t think this incident will stop me from seeing the movie, but I could certainly understand why a lot of people would not want to give him their money. Do you think this kind of revelation (which is really not THAT big of a surprise) is likely to permanently damage his bankability as a director and an actor? What about the willingness of Jewish people in the business to work with him?
Yes and no. They leave things out all the time. They aren’t supposed to, but it happens. When you live and work in a community, you make allowances, especially when no one was injured.
I buy the apology, mainly because he didn’t try to weasel out of it or dodge the issues. He flat-out admitted complete responsibility for his actions, and I respect that tremendously.
I don’t think it will affect his bankablity in the least. He’ll have some fences to mend, both publically and privately. but money talks louder than drunken blather. For all anybody knows, he might have had heartburn from a bad knish, and that got his alcohol-sodden brain off on an anti-Semitic rant. I know I’ve done that after someone has pissed me off. I get even worse if it’s a member of my own ethic/class group.
That the primary question, IMHO. I suspect you are right, and that he’s truly an anti-semite and alcohol loosened his true views out of him. IIRC, his father is anti-semetic, and people are often bigots because they were raised to be so.
Regardless, it won’t affect my decisions to see his films or not. I realize many of the people resonsible for the music and movies I like likely have opinions I find reprehensible.
Alcohol has caused me to say some things I would not otherwise say and do some things I would not otherwise do, but only because it took away my restraint. I might think "this person is more boring than a high school production of Death of a Salesman while sober but while sober I won’t say it; a few vodkas and "goddam you’re more boring than a high salesman production of Salesman of a School [hic]., but the alcohol didn’t plant the idea. I’ve never known anybody who was a racist when drunk but a liberal when sober or vice versa and I think Gibson, who has serious serious issues way beyond alcoholism imho, just said what he’d normally have the tact not too.
Gibson by his own admission (this is from interviews conducted around the time of Passion) has a major problem with addiction. He’s been addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex (he admits to chronic infidelity in the past and bewilderment that his wife is still with him), chain smokes in spite of many attempts to quit, and essentially overcame drugs and alcohol to an extent by transferring his addiction to that ultra-conservative brand of Catholicism (sedevacantist or something to that effect) he practices. Apparently he’s relapsed into alcohol as well, or else Jesus is a hemophiliac and the communion got out of hand.
PS- Richard Pryor once said in an interview that lots of money is one of the worst things that can happen to an addict, not just because it means he can afford his drug of choice but because he can be as big of an asshole as he wants and still be assured of ‘friends’ and home and the like. Consequently it takes forever to hit bottom (in his case running down a street in flames) and be helped. I think this is true of Gibson- he has the money and the influence to be indulged (“let the world around me change”) and to be assured he’s right and he’ll likely never be free of demons. (He’s worth in the nine figures- he’ll never be broke and he’ll never lack for those to adjust his surroundings.)
While I think he’s an asshole I actually think he’s more to be pitied than to be loathed. That would probably make him madder.
Wow . . . I used to disagree with those who painted Mel a kook and an anti-Semite on the basis of The Passion of the Christ, but it looks like I’m going to have to change my opinion on both counts–although I still don’t think that Passion was anti-Semitic in and of itself.
I have to agree with Revtim on the issue of Mel letting his true feelings out on this. Alcohol will do that to you. This guy’s an asshole . . . and more than a little messed-up in the head.
I’m afraid I find it hard to pity a man who was gifted with all the talent and good looks in the world and rich to boot and who just pissed it all away because he couldn’t be bothered to deal with shit. Money may be a hindrance sometimes, but it’s not a handicap. When I read about Mel, he just strikes me as a grown-up kid, someone who’s never had to mature or face the real world in full. He’s 50 going on 13, and while I don’t envy him, I don’t exactly pity him either.
Well, I concur that Mel is most likely in truth a nasty anti-semitic jackass, but I do respect the fact that he issued a real apology. No “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” bullshit. Just straight out, I fucked up, there’s no excuse, I’m sorry. Maybe it’s completely insincere, and he just has a savvy enough PR assistant to write a good apology, but I do find it more compelling than most public apologies of this sort.
I think he probably has some latent anti-semitism that came out in The Passion and in his drunken rage. My question here is, why were these epithets included in the report in the first place. I can’t see what purpose it serves to get that specific in a police report, except to make him look bad. I am not a police officer, but I’ve written quite a few incident reports on some pretty bizarre incidents, and would write “then started using profanity,” rather than report exactly what was said. I would only report the epithets if it seemed like thye were relevant to the incident, and the action the company ought to take.
But that’s an expansion of what appears (at this point) to be probably true. The terrorism link - sure, that’s nonsense. That Gibson said some stuff he now regrets is all that Dio’s link claims, and his link has some documentation to back it up.
We’ll see. If there is, in fact, an earlier version of the police report, it will have to be released now.
If it had been the usual Hollywood drunken meltdown with him ranting about owning Malibu and asking the police they know who they were dealing with and so on, then his apology might have been compelling – maybe even admirable. But its hard to believe that he sobered up and thought to himself, man, I was all wrong about the Jews. He’s got miles to go.
I’m not talking about his money. I’m talking about his health and reputation. He’s 50 frigging years old. Tom Cruise’s treatment in the press and box office should have clued Mel in. Also, I think Mel’s got a lot more to lose than Tom in the long run.
Post “Christ” he’s got hundreds of millions of dollars at his disposal, and in a another decade might easily be a billionare if he manages his money. His “bankability” is the least of his worries at this point. His career is more or less a hobby at this point. As an aside the story is interesting as I never realized he was so messed up addiction wise.
This reminds me of a guy I knew pretty well, a hopeless alchoholic. The strangest thing about him was that, as soon as he got the first beer in him, he behaved as though he’d had ten: slurred speach, loss of motor control and inhibition, the works. Then, of course, he’d proceed to have fifteen more…
Anyway, I asked a friend of mine, a longtime AA member, about this behavior, and he said it wasn’t unheard of among longtime drinkers. He thought it had something to do with impaired liver function.
Not making any excuses for Mr. Gibson. I think Linty Fresh has him pegged.
The apology does sound pretty sincere to me. His dad’s a major anti-Semite, and Mel grew up listening to that stuff. It can be easy to just overwrite that sort of programming. I can see someone from that background getting drunk and relapsing back to thoughts and opinions that he’d mostly outgrown and distanced himself from. Or he could be an anti-semitic dick who’s also a slick liar. There’s no way to say without actually knowing the guy.
Years ago, good old Mel went on a verbal rampage (I believe it was in a magazine in Spain) proving he was a raging homophobe. When there was a backlash, he tried to say he was misquoted, but I believe the author of the story had it all on tape and proved Mel said exactly what had been written. I can still hear the roaring BOOOOOO! when the film Braveheart won the Oscar as I stood in a crowded Gay bar in West Hollywood.
Can we now officially declare Mel Gibson a bigoted jerk?
Everything I have read from the buff books (Car and Driver, Road and Track etc) where they have done tests at closed tracks, at 0.08 you are shit faced. 0.12 is falling down drunk.
While I have plenty of experience being drunk, I don’t have any blowing up balloons for the nice officer. Thank OG.