Are Winona Ryder's Comments On Mel Gibson The Tip Of Iceberg? Comeback For Mel In Doubt

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 17, 2010 3:06 AM
11 Comments
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If there's anything Hollywood does best, it's protect their own. Many actors, directors and producers have interesting reputations for their offscreen behavior and as long as it doesn't make TMZ, everyone politely turns their heads and sweeps it under the carpet, particularly if you're a talent that brings in megabucks at the box office. That is unless you're Fatty Arbuckle or, moving forward many, many decades, Mel Gibson.

You just can't make up the saga of Mel Gibson, the one time box office superstar and heartthrob, whose drunk driving arrest found him spouting sexist, racist slurs which was later followed by violent and abusive rants to his ex-wife. While there's no way this came out of nowhere, Hollywood has pretty much kept a tight lip on any prior indiscretions by the troubled star. Until now. In a recent interview with GQ (via the LA Times), Winona Ryder recounts meeting a very drunk Mel Gibson years ago and there are some very familiar, off-putting details. "I remember, like, 15 years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties,” Ryder said. “And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who's gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about 'oven dodgers,' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, 'He's anti-Semitic and he's homophobic.' No one believed me!”

We believe you Winona. Now the question becomes, is Ryder the only one brave enough to counter the new Gibson narrative that combines his alcoholism and provocation from his ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva as the reason behind his outrageous behavior and objectionable views on every ethnic and sexual minority that isn't Mel Gibson? It remains to be seen, but certainly, Ryder has nudged that door open a little further.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the run-up to the March 23, 2011 release of "The Beaver." While the traditional forgiveness route should find Mel Gibson weeping with Oprah, Barbara Walters and Matt Lauer in the run-up to the release of the film, we believe that for the public, it still won't be enough. Mel Gibson has run so afoul of the lines of decency and his own onscreen persona, that it's fairly unprecedented. We're sure there will be a massive curiosity factor around "The Beaver" (hell, he plays a troubled man who begins to communicate through a hand puppet -- who isn't curious about that?) and we won't be surprised if it brings in some decent box office coin. But it's likely that the film will only serve as a very minor step in any attempt Gibson makes to try and return the public sphere.

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11 Comments

  • cmf | March 19, 2011 9:38 AMReply

    I am so sick of all of this. Mel Gibson and everyone else like him has the right to his own opinions he has the right to his likes and dislikes. Leave him alone. I hate the labels so many of you are using today such as racists, homophobic etc.. there is no such thing as a racist and homophobe. It is just stupid labels to continue having a war against everyone else.

  • Michael. | December 18, 2010 5:07 AMReply

    I'm kind of over all the Gibson bashing, especially on a site like this which is supposed to be about the actual movies and not the personal lives of movie stars. I honestly do not give a crap about whether Mel Gibson is anti-gay, anti-semitic or anti-jon bon jovi and that's not what I come to this site for. This is one the best (if not best) movie sites around, quit being lame douche's.

  • Nick Faust | December 18, 2010 3:46 AMReply

    I think everyone enjoys focusing on Gibson's bad behavior way to much. Under the banner of political correctness it's okay to unload on the guy. Well, I don't see the comments here any differently than Gibson's. And let me tell you, Gibson's wrong doesn't make what's said here right. I'm gay and almost 60 and I intend to see Mel Gibson in the new movie, the film by Jodie Foster. Doing so does not mean I'm anti semitic (a favorite ploy of the politically correct), nor does it mean I appreciate the man's bad behavior. What I do appreciate is his acting. And, frankly, as someone else here has said, if Whoopi Goldberg and Jodie Foster are okay with him, that's enough for me.

  • cirkusfolk | December 18, 2010 2:59 AMReply

    I think it's weird how some actors Gibson is apparently close with, one being Whoopi Goldberg (who is black and the other being Jodie Foster (who is gay), immediately defend him after all his troubles occur. Goldberg said on The View that Gibson was absolutely not a racist, and I don't think Foster would keep casting him in her movies if he was cracking gay jokes all the time. I don't know...just kinda strange.

  • Daniel | December 17, 2010 10:08 AMReply

    I was recently on a set where the talent, who had both worked with Gibson before, were openly discussing their own firsthand experiences with his anti-semitism. Their consensus was that the guy is and always has been messed up from being raised by a whacko Dad. Sounds about right to me.

    Ken: there is nothing wrong with Winona banging alt-rock stars. People are allowed to have sex. I say good for her.

  • James | December 17, 2010 7:16 AMReply

    Mel Gibson's main trouble isn't alcohol - it's that he's a racist, homophobic, misogynist douche.

    Alcohol doesn't take over your mind and make you say things you don't actually believe... it relaxes your inhibitions and allows you to say the things you genuinely think, but are normally too in control to actually blurt out.

    A shame, the man's a talented filmmaker, but a vile human being.

  • Scott | December 17, 2010 6:20 AMReply

    Alcoholism doesn't excuse racism, anti-semitism and homophobia. Someone isn't a bad person just because they have a drinking problem. They're a bad person if they repeatedly denigrate minorities and women.
    As far as I know, nothing Winona Ryder has done has been anything other than extremely self-destructive. When she starts spewing hate-speech then I'll tell her not to criticize other people...but "oven-dodgers?" Come on now.

  • carrie | December 17, 2010 4:56 AMReply

    if i was Winona Ryder,i will be low-key because she has many skeletons in her closet even if i think Gibson's main trouble is alcohol

  • JT | December 17, 2010 4:15 AMReply

    Ken, don't forget racist! He's got the hat-trick.

  • Ken | December 17, 2010 4:01 AMReply

    note: i realize that stealing clothes from just one store does not make you a kleptomaniac

  • Ken | December 17, 2010 3:59 AMReply

    I'll take the kleptomaniac over the anti-semitic homophobe anyday, even if the kleptomaniac has basically banged every alt-rock star of the '90s.

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