Stephen Colbert’s low-and-slow approach to Late Night television might work in his favor, as the Comedy Central staple has yet to top his competitors’ viral videos. Though he might not be ahead of the game, he’s certainly making ripples in the water worthy of discussion. In an interview with Mel Gibson, Colbert addressed the actor’s “rough patch,” which obviously refers to Gibson’s infamous, anti-Semitic rant. Colbert is clearly empathetic and interested, rather than asking a “gotcha” question to deliberately cause Gibson’s unease. Interviewing will likely be Colbert’s niche in this market, as both Jimmy Fallon and James Corden are nowhere close.
As a Jew, Gibson’s rant is especially interesting and important, and though it might be nice to shun hatred for eternity, perhaps it’s true that Gibson DOES NOT have hate in his heart, and his “worst moment” was the product of a deep dive into depression coupled with a drunken relapse. Aren’t we all worthy of forgiveness? It would be nice if Gibson was a tad more comfortable while talking about this, but he has always been notoriously private, so perhaps it’s just not his bag. Watch the interview below.
His new film, Hacksaw Ridge, opens November 4, 2016.
Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer and Director Mel Gibson walked the red carpet at the US Premiere of HACKSAW RIDGE at The Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles.
The film is the true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Though ostracized by fellow soldiers for his stance, he was later acknowledged for his bravery after he risked his life — without firing a shot — to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa. See pictures from the event below.
I’ve been asked multiple times why it’s offensive or anti-Semitic to suggest that Jewish people “run the entertainment industry.” Although the Anti-Defamation League has a more in-depth look at the inquiry, here’s a brief rundown for those that refuse to read long text.
Any suggestion that a religious group is “controlling” something to the detriment of outsiders who are “not allowed in,” is not only anti-Semitic, it’s dangerous. It passively incites a takeover to re-assert control over such a group, which would in turn repeat history (see the holocaust). And history does repeat itself (I’d provide a plethora of examples, but that would make this article too long to read). Furthermore, it breeds hatred.
When Gary Oldman visited Playboy for his now infamous interview, he landed in hot water due to the aforementioned suggestion, claiming that Hollywood is “a town run by Jews.” He also denounced political correctness and defended Mel Gibson. In fact, he called Gibson’s arresting officer a hypocrite because it’s unfathomable that the officer would not have said, “F-g Jew” at any point in his life. Here’s the full quote:
Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That fucking kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?
The most shocking revelation is the idea that Oldman is so far removed from society that he’d think hateful words are in everyone’s wheelhouse. Perhaps he should surround himself with a new circle of friends. As for whether society should shun Oldman for eternity, the answer is no. His awful interview inspired a valuable conversation, and no one will learn anything on an island alone. Oldman visited Kimmel to apologize, calling his words, “Offensive, insensitive, pernicious, and ill-informed.” Watch the interview below.
I appreciate Robert Downey Jr.’s plea for the world to forgive Mel Gibson, and I have always loved Robert Downey Jr., despite his issues. But there’s a major difference between Downey and Gibson’s life-troubles. Robert Downey Jr. was a drug addict. Everyone rooted for him to overcome his addiction, and the public welcomed him back when they felt he recovered. But Gibson’s problems far exceed addiction (though alcohol was clearly involved). America thinks that Mel Gibson is a bigoted wife-beater. The only way to recover from that is to convince the public that he’s changed, and that he deserves a second chance. But Mel Gibson has done nothing to warrant that belief. Does he hate Jews? Is he racist? Did he beat his girlfriend that night? Everyone knows his father is a holocaust denier, yet Gibson never publicly addressed it. When Diane Sawyer asked him to comment, he defensively suggested that the interview was about him and not his father. That’s just not good enough. Unless he’s honest and he can prove that he doesn’t have hate in his heart, he will be forever banned from the industry — whether Robert Downey Jr. likes it or not. My suggestion for Gibson is that he sit-down with Barbara Walters, who is not only a genius at resurrecting careers through tearful truths, but who is also Jewish. It’s a win-win if he’s willing.
When I first heard that Mel Gibson was making a movie about Judah Maccabee, I thought, “that can’t be the same Judah Maccabbee I’m thinking of, right? Perhaps there has been some kind of misunderstanding, and he’s actually making another movie about Jesus?” As it turns out, Gibson is making a movie about THE Judah Maccabbee, the Jewish religious hero that led the revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Isn’t there an easier way to prove that you’re not a bigot? Can’t the guy do an honest interview for once, where he actually discusses that his father is a holocaust denier? And during this same interview, maybe he could also explain that he is neither a wife-beater nor a racist? Actually — he’s doomed. He should just hang it up.
I really want to forgive Mel Gibson. I promise I do. I’m Jewish, and his original, bigoted mess offended me, but I believe in second chances. I’m even willing to go see his movies again on one condition. He has to be genuinely contrite, and he has to have learned his lesson. Judging by his recent exclusive interview with Deadline Hollywood, he isn’t and he hasn’t. I can tell he’s in a lot of personal pain from the interview, but I can also tell that he’s still not ready to accept full responsibility. To be fair, when asked if he feels regret over the tapes, he responded with “of course,” but he also said that he’s “never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality — period” and that the tapes were “edited.” He said that he was in the “height of a breakdown,” and what he said “doesn’t represent what [he] truly believes, or how [he’s] treated people his entire life.” I have trouble making sense of his point, especially since using bigoted language is unacceptable, at the height of a breakdown or not. The breakdown explains it, but it doesn’t justify it. Gibson seems to continuously argue that his actions and words are different, instead of just outright admitting that his words were reprehensible. He needs to just say, “what I said was horrific, and I’m working on myself to figure out where that hatred came from.” My last piece of advice for Mel Gibson is to sit down with Barbara Walters. She’s the master of career clean-up, because she asks the right questions and withholds judgment. It’s a really bad idea to do an interview for a website, which requires a lot of reading, and where you’re unable to be seen on camera looking genuine. Gibson is a charismatic guy, and if I’m wrong and he’s truly contrite, that will be clear on camera. Lastly, this interview was way too damn long. My brain started to hurt toward the end, especially since almost half of it was about his new film, The Beaver. He shouldn’t clean up his image while promoting a movie. Image-cleanup needs to appear agenda-less.
I will make this post short and sweet. Ricky Gervais announced that he’s being pursued to host the Golden Globes again, but he isn’t sure he’ll accept. In response, the Golden Globes powers-that-be insist that they never extended an offer his way. Here’s what I know for sure. The more hullabaloo, the better the ratings, and the better the ratings, the more likely Ricky Gervais is to be asked back. I can only guess that the Golden Globes are denying it because Hollywood doesn’t like to discuss behind-the-scenes matters until the dotted line is signed. But controversy doesn’t get people fired in Hollywood, it gets them hired (with the exception of Mel Gibson, of course).
Aside from her very interesting experience with Mel Gibson, Winona Ryder’s GQ interview leaves much to be desired. She was arrested in 2001 for shoplifting, yet she never addresses that big, fat elephant. When asked, Ryder said, “It’s just like, nothing… I don’t, like, even… I mean, I know people still… I apologize, ’cause I understand the curiosity. I just don’t really want to go there.” She also says that she’s not getting the same roles because of her age, as they are all going to younger actresses. Either Winona’s representation isn’t doing their job, or she isn’t listening to them. So I’m going to do her a favor and release a statement on her behalf, so that she knows what to say the next time she’s asked. Here goes — “It’s something that I hope one day to put completely behind me. I was in a very dark place at the time, and I’ve done a lot of personal soul-searching since. That’s all I can really do.” Easy enough? What she shouldn’t do is evade the topic altogether by saying, “I just really don’t want to go there.” Until Winona sits down with Barbara Walters and discusses this, her career will never fully recover. It’s not an age issue — it’s a PR issue.
Can someone please explain how Mel Gibson got away with his career for as long as he did? I know that Hollywood continues to employ assholes — talent or not — but anti-Semites? According to Winona Ryder, she ran into him at a Hollywood party with her gay friend, and Gibson not only made a gay joke, but when he found out she was Jewish, he called Jews “oven dodgers.” Enough said.
There’s a lot of theories floating around on entertainment news shows about why Charlie Sheen seems to get away with his bad behavior. Many people blame CBS, saying that they would never fire Sheen for bad conduct because the television business is all about ratings, and Two and a Half Men is still a big hit on the network. Though I’d take just about any opportunity to bash network suits, I’m going to make an exception this time around. Charlie Sheen is still likable because he owns up to his behavior. He was recently caught doing drugs with a hooker in a hotel room, which didn’t come as a surprise since everyone already knows Charlie Sheen does drugs and sleeps with hookers. He’s never tried to snow the public by presenting himself as an upstanding, moral family-man. Look at Oprah, for example. She’s practically Jesus, and she’s openly admitted to drug use and having sex with a married man. Mel Gibson and Tiger Woods are unforgiven because they tried to dupe the public into believing they were flawless. If Tiger presented himself as a womanizer from the very beginning of his golf career, I think he would have ended up just as popular as he ultimately became. So what’s the moral of the story? You’re free to snort cocaine off a hooker’s stomach — just own up to it.