Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly‘s John Young wrote a post titled, “Mel Gibson’s flop ‘The Beaver’: What went wrong?”
Young gives four possible answers to this question:
- The reviews weren’t strong enough.
- The Mel Gibson ick factor.
- The film’s subject matter.
- Stars don’t hold as much sway these days.
It was in bullet point #2 that I got miffed. Young wrote:
Despite The Beaver‘s mostly mediocre reviews, critics were generally impressed by Gibson’s performance. In her review, EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum called the movie an “adventurous character study by a passionate Mel Gibson” who delivers “high-quality work.” But people don’t approach movies in a pop-culture vacuum. No matter the amount of praise he received or the uniqueness of the character he played, that’s still Mel Gibson’s mug being projected onto the screen. And while you’d like to think that most people would be willing to separate an actor’s personal life from his professional work, that’s simply not the case. It’s reasonable to think that a significant portion of moviegoers stayed away from The Beaver simply because they wanted nothing to do with Gibson. “You’d assume at some point America would forgive him,” says an executive from another studio. “But maybe they’re not ready to yet.”
Not sure why Young thinks that I think that it is desirable for “most people” to “be willing to separate an actor’s personal life from his professional work.” I wouldn’t like to think that at all.
We aren’t talking about people staying away from the movie because Gibson is a dude who sometimes isn’t the nicest guy or because he has different political beliefs than most of us. This isn’t some issue that revolves him jumping on a couch or saying arrogant things about himself. Those things may make him have an “ick factor” but they are, in my estimation, forgivable.
Let’s list what would be something unforgivable for which a movie-goer may not want to support an actor or their career anymore:
- Major anti-Semitic rant.
- Making sexist comments during anti-semitic rant.
- A major racist and sexist rant against his girlfriend.
- OR domestic abuse against said girlfriend. (yes, the charges were dropped but AFTER he plead no contest to the charges)
At what point, Mr. Young, is it okay for me to let someone else’s personal hate for basically everyone who isn’t a white male Catholic (so, you know, that would include me – the non-Catholic woman) bleed over into when or why I choose to support that person’s professional projects? Or, in this case, don’t support.
Gibson’s a sexist, racist, anti-Semitic asshole who beat his girlfriend. Is that not enough?
One can only HOPE Gibson being a sexist, racist, anti-Semitic domestic abuser is the reason that his movie tanked. One can only HOPE that is the reason that all his subsequent movies tank. One can only HOPE that this is the reason that Gibson disappears from the limelight all together and that I am no longer forced to look at his woman-beating mug on my TV.
Oh, and “executive from another studio” – this lady ain’t ever gonna “forgive” Mel Gibson. This isn’t about me being “ready”, it’s about Gibson being a total fuckwad who shows absolutely no remorse ever for his disgusting behavior and defenseless beliefs.
I’m not sure why the public is expected to ever accept Gibson back into Hollywood. Why is that onus on us? The asshole has already ruined Braveheart for me. I don’t want him going around being in movies I would otherwise want to see, fucking those up, too.
While you’d like to think that most people would be willing to deny a hater and hitter a successful and famous movie career, that’s still gonna be Mel Gibson’s mug being projected onto the screen.