Defending Mel Gibson

But first, that very NSFW mashup of The Beaver trailer and Gibson’s misogynistic tirade towards the mother of his child, Oksana Grigorieva, whom he left his wife for:

A friend of Gibson pens a long and impassioned defense of the actor:

As a long-time reader, I would very much like to sign up for a yearly membership to your site.  However, you make it very difficult when you get simple factual details incorrect.  Please read this to the end, because I have a question for you.

I am speaking of the Jodie Foster speech, and your Mel Gibson comments specifically.  Mr. Sullivan, you repeatedly refer to Mr. Gibson as “a wife beater.”  Does it bother you at all that Mr. Gibson has NEVER ONCE been accused of being a wife beater?  Mr. Gibson was married to Robyn Moore for 30 years, and even in their divorce papers, Ms. Moore praised him and testified under oath that “he never once displayed a violent temper to her, or their seven children, and that he was in fact an excellent father to their children.” Would you be interested in knowing that Mr. Gibson and Ms. Moore even now have such an outstanding relationship that they are continuing to raise their seven children and three grandchildren, and that they continue to run the charity they began together?

You continue with the 25-year-old canard that Mel Gibson is homophobic [and misogynistic]. That one makes me laugh! Jodie Foster has been good friends with Mel Gibson for over 20 years.  Don’t you think that she knows him better than you?

Do you think that if he had ever acted in any way that was not totally supportive of her, that she would have him for a friend?  Do you think she does not know her own mind?  Don’t you realize that YOU are the one who is being a misogynist, when you suggest that she is not capable of picking her own friends?  Do you know that Mel Gibson’s agent and very best friend was Ed Limato, who was an out-and-proud gay man forever in Hollywood, until his death last year?  Not only was Limato Gibson’s agent and friend, he was his father figure.  And where were you when Mel Gibson’s youngest brother Andrew Gibson came out to the public as being gay several years ago?  He came out to Mel and the rest of his family decades ago and according to Andrew Gibson, they all accepted him with love and grace.  And Mel and Andrew are very good friends and associate with each other regularly.  What do you have to say to that?

Your worst line of the last few days is, “Would you trust Mel Gibson with your two sons?”  Mr. Sullivan, for you of all people to say something like that strikes me not only as hideous, but as embarrassing to you.  Don’t you remember when people would say the same things about homosexuals back in the day?  Why are you so judgmental of others?  Mel Gibson has eight children now, most of them  grown, and have you ever heard one bad thing about any of them?  That is almost a record in Hollywood.  Who are you to judge his parenting?  He has always been a loving and caring father.  You say that Mel Gibson looked small the other night, I think you look small with the inaccuracies you have been printing about him.

As far as the anti-Semitism charge, there is no doubt that Mr. Gibson was caught saying contemptible and awful things on tape.  I make NO excuse that he was drunk at those times, except that is the truth.  This is a man who has suffered more because of what he has done to himself than what he has done to others.  It will make no difference to you if I tell you that Mr. Gibson is not an anti-Semite, because your mind is already made up.  The only thing I CAN tell you is that IF he is an anti-Semite, he certainly has scores of Jewish friends, including myself and my family.

Your charges of why he rejects Vatican II are also incorrect.  Like most traditional Catholics, the reasons are many and varied. I would think that you of all people would understand this point, but here is a news flash for you: Human beings are complicated!  And like most complicated people, Mr. Gibson has much more good in him than bad.

And that is where I come in, Mr. Sullivan.  If you are going to condemn this man so viciously and cruelly out of hand, than you need to know about the millions upon millions of dollars he quietly gives away in charity.  You need to know about the scores of children’s lives he has saved by funding their life threatening surgery in developing countries with the charity he and his wife helped start, “Mending Kids International.”  Why don’t you give Cedars Sinai and UCLA Medical Center a call and ask how many millions upon millions of dollars Mel Gibson donated to their children’s center?  Why don’t you call the President of Mexico and ask, “How much money did Mel Gibson give when you had the earthquake down there?”

You will never hear it from Gibson, because unlike most celebrities, he gives in such a way that nobody in the media will ever know about it.  Mr. Gibson has given more money, more time, and done more for humanity, in one year, than most people will ever do in their lifetime.  That is why so many people have such loyalty towards him.  That is why every single one of his female co-stars stand behind him.  It is not just Jodie Foster as you falsely state; it is Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Glenn Close, Rene Russo, Madeline Stowe, Helen Hunt, Diane Keaton, Lucy Lui, etc.  Why do all these women have such loyalty towards him?  Because there is nobody in show business who is more loyal, kind, trustworthy, reliable to be there for a friend or even for a person they don’t know than Mel Gibson.  When Jodie Foster said that “Mel Gibson had saved her”, she was not just blowing smoke.

Again, don’t you think all these people know Mr. Gibson just a little better than you do, Mr. Sullivan?  It is interesting, Mr. Sullivan, the way you write about Mr. Gibson and certain other people you have chosen to hate, one would almost think that you were without faults, flaws, foibles, shortcomings, or weaknesses of any kind.  One would almost think you have you have never struggled in your life, nor had you have sinned.

You pride yourself on being a “journalist.”  In my opinion, that means you should at the very least clean up the factual errors that you have been printing recently.  But I would be pleased if you just write to me and let me know that you might not know Mel Gibson at all, and you will rethink some of your positions. I would be happy to purchase a yearly subscription to the Dish at that point, if for no other reason than you are good for raising my blood pressure.

I’m so sorry: not wife-beater, but beater of the mother of his own child whom he wished to be “raped by a pack of niggers.” By racism, see above. By anti-Semitism, I meant an entire pornographic snuff-movie that had as much to do with Christianity as Gibson’s deranged version of Catholicism, which by chance fouses on the Second Council which removed its vile generalized condemnation of Jews as somehow responsible for the Roman execution of Jesus. By homophobia, I meant, among many things, this:

In the Dec. 1 issue of the El Pais Sunday magazine, Gibson was directly asked his opinion of homosexuals. He responded, “They take it up the ass.” According to El Pams, he laughed, got up, bent over, pointed to his butt, and continued, “This is only for taking a shit.” The interviewer recalled that Gibson previously had expressed fear people would think he is gay because he’s an actor. He responded: “With this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? … I don’t lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I sound like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?”

Gibson later refused to take back a word: “I don’t think there’s an apology necessary, and I’m certainly not giving one. Those remarks were a response to a direct question. If someone wants my opinion, I’ll give it. What, am I supposed to lie to them?” By misogynist, I mean a taped conversation in which the mother of his child said: “What kind of a man is that who would hit a woman when she is holding a child in her hands, hitting her twice in the face? What kind of a man is that?” To which he replied: “You know what? You fucking deserved it.”

We are all indeed sinners. Mel Gibson may enter the kingdom of Heaven long before I do, if I ever make it. I can only know the public facts and part of my job is to comment on them. I’m sure my reader knows more and I also know there are many aspects to people’s lives outsiders cannot know. But when I see the bruised face of a woman hit by a man, I side with the woman. I do not add insult to her injuries. When I hear a man slurring “the Jews” as a collective, I shudder. When I hear him refuse to disown a statement defining all gay men by vile stereotypes, I don’t just let it go. And I worry about allowing such acts to be forgotten – or even disgustingly rehabilitated – under the glowing benign wings of Jodie Foster.