Mad Mel Gibson shows his true colors

Loose tongue
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  August 2, 2006

Reports by Los Angeles Sheriffs cite a number of virulent anti-Semitic quotes uttered by Mel Gibson during the actor-director’s recent arrest for allegedly driving under the influence. Gibson’s lawyer has released the requisite apology in which Gibson says he was “totally out of control” and takes the fall for saying things, “[That] I do not believe.”

I respond to Gibson’s alleged apology with a simple, “In vino veritas” — for wine certainly does get out the truth. (He’ll doubtless understand this bit of Latin, one of the languages he chose for his blockbuster The Passion of the Christ.)

A devout Catholic, Gibson must embrace an inflexible disdain for homosexuals, divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion, and the underground, outdated yet solid belief among Catholic extremists that all non-Catholics are ultimately doomed, especially non-Christians. That, of course, would mean Jews (as well as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and the like, and also non-believers.)

Mad Mel’s father — even more Catholic than Gibson, if that is possible — denies the Holocaust ever happened. More disturbing, Gibson, who is often asked about his father’s statement, refuses to clearly and unequivocally reject it.

Booze has loosened Gibson’s tongue for him — and for us — and the L.A. Sheriffs’ department promises to make the full arrest report public with no editing (although two days after the arrest, the sheriff’s Web site was suddenly “unavailable.” Hmmmm.)

Gibson got pinched last weekend near his Malibu home. This isn’t his first starring role as a souse. The actor acknowledges he’s had a serious drinking problem “all of my adult life.” He routinely promises to get treatment, but never seems to achieve sobriety.
People familiar with drunks will not be surprised by anything that Gibson says or does. A drunk will deny, ’fess us, promise to get help, apologize, get drunk again, blame others, deny, get drunk — well, you get the picture.

Alcoholics Anonymous, the successful treatment program that depends on little more than an admission of the addiction by the drinker and a promise to try to stay sober, one day at the time, teaches us that Gibson is doomed unless he takes the first of 12 steps.

Step One requires Gibson to admit he is powerless over alcohol. That’s quite an admission for a wealthy, powerful and steel-willed Hollywood player who has always been able to buy his way into or out of whatever he wanted or didn’t want.

Mel Gibson is a drunk. Worse, he’s a nasty, bigoted drunk. Since he can’t seem to face this on his own and take that crucial First Step, maybe this ugly incident will be the equivalent of someone pushing him down all 12 steps.

Gibson’s next film, Apocalypto, will be distributed with help from Disney (unless Hollywood-based opponents of bigotry step up and refuse to work for this documented anti-Semite). Apocalypto is to be filmed in Mayan, an obscure Indian dialect.

Maybe Gibson likes to use all these antiquated languages because English would be too painful. Most of us don’t know how to say, “Hypocritical, prejudiced drunken jackass” in Latin, Aramaic, or Mayan. 

Related: Mel practice, Apocalypto, The 100 unsexiest men 2007: 20-11, More more >
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