Lately, news has been swirling around that Mel Gibson, ten years after outing himself as an anti-Semite, has “officially been released” from a sort of “director’s jail”, ending his de facto status as “persona non grata” in Hollywood.
The proof given for this “official release” includes the fact that he’s now coming out with a big movie (Hacksaw Ridge), is in talks for future acting projects, and allegedly has agencies vying to represent him.
The fact is, though, those broad proclamations that Gibson has suddenly been unilaterally released from some complete persona non grata status are shortsighted and misinformed.
Gibson has, in fact, been working. After his infamous 2006 “fucking Jews” rant, he was dropped by a number of people, including agent Ari Emanuel, who publicly denounced Gibson’s “tragically inflammatory statements”. However, despite the fact that pop culture reactions made him the butt of a good number of jokes for years, there were always people—many people—defending him. From high profile stars like Jodie Foster, Whoopie Goldberg, and Danny Glover to (Jewish) The Patriot co-producer Dean Devlin, Gibson was never entirely bereft of support, even as he continued to say terrible anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, and homophobic things on the record. This is up to and including recent accounts from the (admittedly dubious source) Glenn Beck, alleging that Gibson ranted that “Jewish people” stole a copy of Passion of the Christ in order to “make his life hell.”
And despite Gibson’s whining that he was “suddenly a pariah” after his bile became public, he came out with Apocalypto after the incident—a film that did very well critically and in terms of box office gains. Another movie, The Beaver, came out in 2011, and though it was not successful in terms of reception, it’s proof that he wasn’t completely un-allowed to work in Hollywood.
Nobody’s saying his career didn’t take a hit once his many offensive statements became public. It definitely did. However, the concept that he is now the beneficiary of some complete and total absolution from Hollywood as a whole discounts the whole reality of the situation.
As in any other scandal—particularly slur-based scandals—the public does tend to soften with time, which means that yes, there will be more people willing to work with him. But there have always been people willing to work with him, and simply because he managed to continue to exist long enough to see that number grow doesn’t mean he’s been granted some carte blanche from everyone. Notably, the arguments for his absolution are the same as they ever were: citing his talent, the fact that, if you really knew him, you’d know he’s a nice guy, and nice guys aren’t anti-Semites (or sexists, or racists, or homophobes). This argument continues not to be particularly convincing to me, and I am sure I’m not alone.
There will, undoubtedly, still be people unwilling to work with him, and people unwilling to see his films. Personally, I’m one of them. It will become more of a matter of subjective opinion: do you believe someone gets to come back from that, or not? Do you believe he really and truly didn’t mean what he said? I don’t, on both counts, so I as a consumer can make that choice. But pretending that suddenly everyone’s hunky dory rather than examining what’s happening as a nuanced part of public sociology makes the whole thing look like he’s done his time, and that therefore the original source of outcry is no longer relevant. There was no real “director jail” and there’s no real “release”—there’s only the effects of time on the perception of individuals.
Well, Mel Gibson is in the news again, having emerged from whatever Beverly Hills bunker he came from to show the world yet another one of his heavy-handed “belabored man of faith” movies, the perhaps aptly named “Hacksaw Ridge.”
And it seems that, much like love, it ain’t easy getting rid of lifelong anti-Semitism. According to erstwhile Fox News bloviator Glenn Beck (which, yes, I know, I’ll get to that in a second), Gibson is still blaming Jews for the “troubles” he encountered during his Passion of The Christ era. In a recent heart-to-heart between the two—which can be counted pretty damned high on the list of “rooms I’d rather not be in”—Gibson allegedly told Beck that “Jewish people” had stolen a copy of The Passion and used it to attack him and “make his life hell” before the film’s release.
Okay. I realize that this is something of a mess of a scenario, but for a second, let’s go out on the thinnest of limbs and imagine that Glenn Beck is, for whatever reason, telling the truth. In that case, Mel Gibson, it’s time to take a knee.
So wait, it was a mysterious cabal of “Jewish people” who “stole your movie” that caused your troubles. By doing what, exactly? Showing it to people? Because if I recall correctly, it was the, you know, actual content of the movie that you wrote, created, directed, and released that people took issue with. Remember, that part where literal hissing, hook-nosed Jews machinate to have Jesus brutally tortured to death over what amounts to an hour and a half of Saw-style torture porn? I think it was that part that got people a little steamed at you, not so much this secret “band of Rabbis, or something” who apparently “stole” the movie. Even if this imaginary pack of roving sticky-handed clergy did exist, all you’re accusing them of doing is showing people the actual movie you made—you know, the super anti-Semitic one.
And let’s talk about the alleged “troubles” that the supposed Jewish coup caused you. Tell me, what part of the $612 million that The Passion earned worldwide was particularly perilous to you? If the issue is, as you state it, that “all of a sudden”, you were a “Pariah”, well, maybe you should recall possible other reasons for that “pariah”-hood—you know, like saying Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world, or assaulting your then-girlfriend so badly you shattered her teeth, or being the sort of guy who threatens said girlfriend with being “raped by a pack of n*ggers.”
That’s really not the sort of guy people like to have at parties, bud.
But enjoy your delusion. And don’t worry! If anything goes wrong with this movie, you can just blame the Jews again. I’m sure there are enough bands of ninja movie-stealing Rabbis hiding in the eaves of your imagination to last you many years to come.
Shia LaBeouf, erstwhile Even Stevens, walking meme fodder, and one of the most attention seeking “non-attention-seekers” in all of Hollywood, came out unexpectedly in his recent Variety interview against one of the movie-makers he’s worked with most: Steven Spielberg.
LaBeouf, who worked on the Spielberg-produced Transformers franchise and the Spielberg-directed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, said bluntly, “I don’t like the movies that I made with Spielberg”, with the exception of the first Transformers movie. He described the rest of his experiences working on Spielberg films as disappointing.
“You get there, and you realize you’re not meeting the Spielberg you dream of,” he said. “You’re meeting a different Spielberg, who is in a different stage in his career. He’s less a director than he is a f—cking company.”
Real talk, LaBeouf is not the first person to criticize the Transformers movies or the Indiana Jones reboot, none of which have met with (or arguably deserve) critical acclaim. Calling out Spielberg for valuing the dollar over the quality of his films in recent years isn’t objectionable, even if it sort of lacks self-awareness when you consider that LaBeouf had no problem taking the millions of dollars those movies made him. What is objectionable is who has the ability to publicly make that call out, and who doesn’t.
Consider the case of Katherine Heigl. In a 2008 Vanity Fair interview, Heigl made a simple statement about the movie, saying she found it “a little sexist.” Not that it was a bad movie. Not that she didn’t enjoy working on it. Just that she found that there are elements of the movie and its’ ethos tends—as has been noted extensively elsewhere—to paint women as humorless and uptight, and to paint men as goofy, fun-loving protagonists. The backlash she received was huge. She was painted as ungrateful and unhinged, with director Judd Apetow and co-star Seth Rogen calling her, among other things, “bat-shit crazy”, and essentially blacklisting her. This went on for almost a decade, to the extent where Rogen decided to be benevolent enough to half-forgive her for her transgressions on the Howard Stern show earlier this summer.
Putting these two actors and the expectations around them together, it’s clear to see that there’s a severe imbalance here that goes beyond either individual person. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with what either Heigl or LeBeouf said. Knocked Up was a little sexist, and Speilberg’s LaBeouf-featured movies really are way more corporate than artistically meritous. But that Heigl would have her career destroyed for what she said and that LeBeouf, in all likelihood, will keep on…doing whatever he does, regardless of what he said, is telling.
Hollywood’s famous two Coreys made an emotional TV reunion of sorts — if you believe in people talking from beyond the grave.
Corey Feldman, best known for his roles in classic ’80s movies like “Stand By Me,” “The Goonies” and “Gremlins,” believes he heard a poignant message from his late friend and co-star Corey Haim on the psychic show “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.”
In their last TV show together, Haim had confronted Feldman over Feldman knowing that Haim had been abused for a period of two years as a teenager.
On Wednesday’s episode of “Hollywood Medium,” Feldman says he finally heard Haim tell him to come out with the information he has regarded Haim’s abuse.
“All it will take is one person coming forward for a whole other group of people to come forward,” Henry told Feldman. “It’s clear that other people would also come forward and support you.”
“Literally, I’ve been praying for several nights in a row for this answer,” Feldman responded to the host. “I feel like that whole thing was orchestrated by some greater power to help me find that answer.”
Haim and Feldman were near-constant movie partners back in the day, co-starring in 12 movies. Haim, who battled drug addiction, died of pneumonia in 2010.
Both actors say they were abused by unnamed sexual predators that preyed on boys and young men in Hollywood.
After the show aired, Feldman took to Twitter to express his relief that he heard from his late friend.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON @tyhenrymedium SHOW LAST NITE: 4 THE MOST PART IT WAS THE MOST FACTUAL REALITY SHOW I HAV BEEN A PART OF OUTSIDE #TTC— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) September 1, 2016
On Twitter, many of Feldman’s fans gave heartfelt responses to the episode, and to Feldman and Haim’s “reconnection.”
@Corey_Feldman Thanks for sticking up for Haim. You’re a true friend.— Wes (@Heyits_Wes) September 1, 2016
@Corey_Feldman Very proud of you on #HollywoodMedium. The sorrow was in your eyes. Love you Corey— Kathy Taylor (@TaylorNTexas) September 1, 2016
Earlier in the show, Henry pegged Feldman as a skeptic about his psychic powers.
But Henry won him over by successfully intuiting that one of Feldman’s relatives had a prominent birthmark on his face. It turned out it was his grandfather’s third brother, whom Feldman hadn’t thought about in years.
“That was a crazy one. Because there’s no way anybody would have known that,” Feldman told the camera.
Jeremy Piven is a bar mitzvah boy — again. Last week, at a private ceremony overlooking the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Piven — star of “Entourage” and “Mr. Selfridge” — celebrated his second bar mitzvah, surrounded by his friends Omri Casspi and Amar’e Stoudemire. He posted a picture to his Instagram account, writing, “Today I became a man (again)”:
Piven told the Forward in 2006 that at his first bar mitzvah — when he was thirteen — he really looked the part.
“It was the best bar mitzvah ever,” he said. “I was like any other bar mitzvah boy. I had braces, a very chubby face, and a mullet. I thought I was more John Travolta does ‘Saturday Night Fever’ than Bar Mitzvah Boy. I was Bar Mitzvah Boy, that was for sure.”
At this latest bar mitzvah, at age 51, Piven received a new talit, or prayer shawl, said the blessings over the talit and the Torah and sang “Siman tov v’mazal tov” with Stoudemire and Casspi.
Casspi, a small forward for the Sacramento Kings, invited Piven to come to Israel with several other celebrities and basketball players, including fellow Kings player DeMarcus Cousins, poker champion Maria Ho and UFC star Georges St. Pierre. The Omri Casspi Foundation, which promotes youth basketball programs in Israel and helps boost Israel’s profile among celebrities and athletes, organized the trip.
Casspi’s guests flew in a private jet provided by Sheldon Adelson from Las Vegas to Tel Aviv. While in Israel, the group has taken a helicopter tour of the country, partied at a Tel Aviv night club and visited Yad Vashem.
Here’s an insta of the plane the group took to Israel.
While most of us can only hope for one bar or bat mitzvah in our life, we are happy for Piven that he can celebrate a second simcha, or happy occasion..
As a member of Piven’s own entourage said during the ceremony, “You’re killin’ it, Jer!”
This article has been sent!Close