Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Second Time's A Charm

Now that I have time to blog...

Mel Gibson's first apology was lacking, as he avoided mentioning the specific transgression at hand. He said what needed to be said in the second apology. And he took a step that a lot of celebs don't take when in similar situations:

I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery. Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.

At Daimnation, I posted the following comment to this post:

On Hannity's radio show earlier today, William Donohue (who branded Hitchens an anti-Catholic bigot, for reasons unknown) said that Mel needs to be careful about which Jewish leaders he meets with - specifically, to avoid the ones who simply want to use him like a punching bag. He's right. If Mel is salvageable, he shoudln't reach out to paranoid blowhards like Abe Foxman who have a nasty habit of dishing out false charges of anti-Semitism. (There's plenty of the real stuff to complain about, Abe.)

Foxman does accept Gibson's apology, but that doesn't enhance his qualifications. The purpose of Mel meeting with Jews is to overcome his bigotry. It will not help to meet with Jews who have a track record of leveling false charges of bigotry. At the Conservative Voice, Michael J. Gaynor recounts the Anti-Defamation League's delusions about The Passion of the Christ. Foxman is also intolerant of Christians peacefully proselytizing Jews. The idea of meeting with Jews is to discourage anti-Semitism, not to put

Mel has already been invited by Rabbi David Baron to speak at the Temple of the Arts, the premier synagogue for the entertainment industry, on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Best of luck.

Many are speculating over what this does to Gibson's career. Predictably, there isn't similar buzz about Gary Busey's future after portraying a Mengele-like Jewish-American physician in Valley of the Wolves: Iraq. (Then again, Busey hasn't had much of a career lately.) Damian Penny states that "Hollywood is actually a pretty forgiving town," but, as Elia Kazan would testify if he were alive, that forgiving nature can be quite selective. Hollywood will applaud Fidel Castro, who jails people for being gay and has his military shoot down anyone caught trying to escape from Cuba, and will lionize a Palestinian society whose vast majority wants to destroy Israel, but will a community that placed anathema on Kazan tolerate Mel Gibson?

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