The NYT usefully draws attention to the fracas surrounding Mel Gibson’s arrest for drunk driving.
Almost as stunning as Mel Gibson’s anti-Jewish tirade when arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in the early hours of last Friday was the speed at which the scandal unfolded, doing serious damage to one of Hollywood’s most valuable careers along the way.
In a little over 24 hours, Mr. Gibson’s arrest and subsequent behavior in Malibu had already prompted talk of a claimed cover-up, an exposé, worldwide news coverage, an apology and then a full-blown push for alcohol rehabilitation, even as his representatives and executives at the Walt Disney Company rushed to catch up with the event’s effect on the filmmaker’s movie and television projects with the company…
The key factor in igniting the storm, says the Times, was that the news appeared not via the usual mainstream media channels but because on last Friday evening a celebrity website, TMZ.com, posted four pages of a sheriff’s report describing what the arresting officer said was Mr. Gibson’s belligerent behavior and a series of noxious remarks, including several deeply offensive comments about Jews.
Disney has — surprise, surprise! — cancelled a proposed miniseries about the Holocaust starring Mel! And the mutterings about the implicit anti-semitism of his film, The Passion of The Christ, have resurfaced. It’s tough being a global celeb.
I avoided the ‘Christ’ film for two reasons. As the child of a fanatical Catholic household, I had had quite enough of the so-called ‘passion’ to last me a lifetime; and I thought the second definite article in the title was a typo.