Some years ago, a group of filmmakers from Holland asked if I could put them in touch with Mel Gibson. Their time was short in the USA and they wanted to interview Gibson. Though I have pulled many a rabbit out of a hat, I passed on that challenge since Gibson was not among my contacts. These young men were doing a documentary on Hollywood and were only interested in Gibson – no other celebrity would do. A few weeks after they left town, I was at a gas station in Toluca Lake and found myself pumping gas next to none other than… Mel Gibson. I looked over at him and said, “Where were you when I needed you?” He reacted shyly as I explained. He kindly gave me his card and said he would send the guys what ever they needed. That was during his better days.
Today, many people would be happy to see Gibson burned at the stake. Sadly, he is giving them fuel for the fire. His outbursts have been filled with unacceptable language, and his rage gives us cause for concern.
But also concerting is the way Hollywood eats its own. Public criticism may garner radio and TV ratings, but it lacks any form of compassion. Instead of lighting the fire to destroy a man, wouldn’t it be better to reach out with a cup of water?
Who out there has never lost his or her cool, or found themselves in a dark hole at some point in their lives? There are situations and people that can absolutely push us over the edge, especially if we are surrounded by negative emotions. Outside forces can turn us on a dime – making us do things we would not normally do.
Gibson was obviously vulnerable to whatever drove him to those uncontrollable vein-popping rants. The jury’s out on the accusation of domestic violence or the validity of any setup, so we will wait on the facts to surface. He will get through this, with or without our support. However, if we stand by him, our love and understanding will help soothe the savage beast within. Let’s be part of his healing, not his demise.
I’m not condoning Gibson’s actions or finding excuses for him; however, in the name of decency, “Don’t kick a man when he’s down.” Gibson was the darling of the media for many years, and is a man whose talent is beyond measure. He’s a man who gave us hours of entertainment, and a man that was married for 30 years to the same woman and fathered seven children by her. His accomplishments in film are unprecedented.
I believe that God looks on the heart, and we would be wise to do the same. On July 15th, Stephen Baldwin echoed my sentiments exactly on The Joy Behar Show.
Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was one of the most incredible epic films of all time. My plea is for the millions of folks who heralded that film to pray for Mel now like you did during that time.
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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Tolucan Times.