On the 10th anniversary of The Passion of The Christ's release, a journalist is pleading with Hollywood to let Mel Gibson off the hook for his grievances that led to him being blacklisted by most studios.
In an opinion piece posted on Deadline.com, Alison Hope Weiner defends Gibson, saying that he's a different man who simply doesn't come to his own defense to prove that he's changed. Weiner, the sister of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, seems to white-wash history, and says that Gibson, in the years that followed the release of The Passion of the Christ, "made several comments that went public, made him seem anti-Semitic and racist."
Gibson landed in the headlines in 2006 when he made an anti-Semitic rant during a DUI arrest, during which he allegedly said Jews caused all the wars. His DUI was later expunged after completing his court-ordered three-year probation, which included performing public service and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Then, the Braveheart actor was at the center of a domestic scandal after a string of leaked recordings of Gibson yelling offensive remarks at ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva during their custody battle were released. Grigorieva also accused Gibson of punching her in the head and face. The actor then pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor spousal battery charge. He was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling.
In 2011, Gibson tried to develop a movie about the Jewish war hero Judah Maccabee, but was blasted by various religious organizations before the screenwriter accused Gibson of sabotaging their movie because he "hates Jews" in a letter that then went public. That same year, Gibson's divorce to Robyn Moore was finalized after 30 years of marriage. In 2012, his stepmother filed a domestic violence restraining order against the actor, saying she feared for her own safety.
But back to Weiner's defense: She says after she got to know Gibson, she saw that he expressed "sincere empathy for the people he'd hurt." She also claims that Gibson told her he made the comment about Jews and war because he had received so much criticism from the Jewish community over The Passion of The Christ. She says Gibson has allegedly dedicated the last few years to getting to know people in the Jewish community and has quietly dedicated millions to them.
"I'm telling you, my friend Mel Gibson has pulled himself together. He is sober seven years, hitting the gym for a role in an independent film, and thinking positively about the future. It has been 11 years since he was paid by a major studio to star in a film, and he hasn't directed a studio film since Braveheart won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. He wasn't the bad person I thought he was back when I first wrote about him, and I'm telling you, he is now not the person you think he is. As one A-list star told me recently, 'Mel has spent enough time in the penalty box.'"
Do you agree with her opinion? Does Gibson deserve another chance?