|Mel Gibson, The Suicide Squad, and Nerdist writer, Kyle Anderson, looking on in horror.|
When I first signed up on Nerdist.com (so that I could make comments to their articles), they made a big to-do about how we should only be positive if we were going to leave a comment at the bottom of their posts. Supposedly, the folks at Nerdist are all about keeping people nice and kindhearted, especially when it comes to moderating what people say in response to their articles. Yet, when it comes to condemning a celebrity on their past, they're apparently just as cold and unforgiving as everyone else nowadays.
The article I saw last night was in reference to Mel Gibson being approached to direct the Suicide Squad sequel (you can check out the article here). When I saw the title of the article on Facebook last night (MEL GIBSON COURTED TO DIRECT SUICIDE SQUAD 2, later updated to MEL GIBSON COMMENTS ON SUICIDE SQUAD 2 RUMORS) I was pretty stoked. The prospect of the guy who directed Apocalypto and Braveheart taking the reigns of a superhero movie? This was beyond an awesome idea, as far as I was concerned. I had to click to read more.
What I found, however, wasn't information about the directors work and how this information came to be (although that was mentioned in about two sentences), but, instead, a several-paragraphs-long complaint about how Hollywood is too forgiving of actors and directors who've had screw-ups in the past. Here's a few comments made by the writer, Kyle Anderson, on the op-ed article:
"More and more, my colleagues and I have been having a conversation about whether an artist’s persona and ethos should affect how people see their art, and I have been coming down on the side of, yes, it absolutely should, more and more."
"Why should we award and heap accolades upon someone who had previously revealed their true colors to be hateful and misogynistic? People can have comebacks, but they usually involve apologies or public recompense for their deeds (if there’s actual culpability and remorse). And yet more and more, Hollywood has been giving people who’ve shown little-to-no acknowledgement of their wrongs a second (or third, or fourth…) chance to win Oscars or get plum roles in popular blockbusters and franchises."
"It ultimately doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the offending years in Mel Gibson’s life, because the baggage will always taint Suicide Squad 2, even if the movie is the best that WB and DC ever make."
"It all just doesn’t make sense, you guys. Sanity is a dream."It certainly is a dream. Although I'm not entirely sure which of us is the dreamer.
The author ended things with the following When did you last beat your wife? type of Twitter poll at the bottom of their article. I suppose this was done on the off chance that they hadn't already driven their point home hard enough:
I used to think how ironic it was that Christians would so often brag about how positive their societal influence was when it came to love, forgiveness and being charitable to others, while simultaneously electing political figures who actively promote that government assistance is a handout, the death penalty is A-okay, homosexuality is an abomination, and that we need a giant wall to keep out Mexicans (who are apparently largely composed of rapists). But now there's this other spectrum on the PC side that seems to always be growing, even permeating cool things like Nerdist that I enjoy. Where we base our entire philosophy on being the sanctimonious good guys who care about the underdog, while simultaneously making statements such as, "It ultimately doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the offending years" and that we give too many people a second chance.
With this kind of logic, I have friends and family members who should be fired from their jobs and never hired again, due to some crazy crap they drunkenly blurted out at a New Years Eve party 10 years ago. The same goes for myself. Because we've all had moments. Moments where we've done or said something that was either embarrassing, offensive, rude, inappropriate, shameful, regrettable, and out of character. We've not just had one of these moments, we've had piles of them. Whether they occurred sober or during an intoxicated or emotional state. Do we ever look at the reality of this when we judge famous people? Do we even consider if the shoe was on the other foot and for one reason or another our isolated misdeeds and screw-ups were made public and then advertised and condemned relentlessly by media outlets all over the world? How would any of us like to have our entire lives judged and livelihood threatened due solely to one shameful moment of our past? A moment that would be nothing more than a blip in the history of any other person? How is that fair?
Whether or not Mel Gibson's misdeeds were merely an isolated occurrences from a drunken and emotional old man, or if they really are a peek into what he's really like, I don't think it much matters. His work is our business; his personal life, views, and beliefs aren't. Frankly, we have no business knowing them in the first place. But also, what do we really even know? That he was recorded saying bad things once or twice in the course of a 60 year-long life? Do we know if it was because of an alcohol problem? Do we know if it was because of a drug problem? Do we know if he was just very angry and saying things he didn't mean in order to be hurtful? Do we know that he actually did mean those things back then, but has since bettered himself? Do we know anything other than one moment in history? No. We don't. We're looking at a snapshot of a persons life and basing all of our opinions on it due to what we think it implies. How is this right? How is this moral?
Mel Gibson may be a Jew hating, misogynistic, racist mess of a human being. Or he may not. In science, you accept not knowing until all evidence comes in. In the cold hearted, PC world of showbiz, however, those rules don't apply. Intuition, presumption, and the smallest of evidence is all that's required for us to round up the mob, grab our pitchforks, and run the supposed offender out of town forever. And if they even think about coming back, we'll be sure to let them know that this isn't like prison: you don't get second chances in Hollywood.
On a side note, here's a comment that I'd previously left on Nerdist.com in the comments section of the article in question. Being the kindhearted, easy-going, always-positive fellas and fillies they are, I suppose they thought it was too negative to approve (this seems to be a habit with them, as they've not approved my comments before). Anywho, here it is in all its glory:
Yes, let's all complain about a great, talented director taking the reigns on a movie just because we heard his private, drunken ramblings over half a decade ago. I'd argue that it's unfair for viewers to say we shouldn't give him a second chance, but I fear that would imply that we're even slightly deserving of having that kind of right in the first place.
It would be nice if we could get a good hard look at every persons worst, most embarrassing, most regrettable moments in life and then proceed to judge them on those handful of moments for the rest of their life. Not only judge them on it, but have those negative moments completely overshadow and constantly infect every aspect of their life and career from then on. We can even have media outlets and online articles advertise those moments to millions of viewers for years afterwards, just in case the public starts to forget that moment happened or, worse, actually dares to forgive them and let it go (contrary to what this article states, it actually isn't a bad character trait to forgive people). Nevermind that it's really none of our business.
How about we loudly complain about any project involving Sean Penn or Terrance Howard due to their past domestic abuse charges? Or why not boycott James Brown music because of his long line of deplorable behavior? I'm pretty sure Ozzy Osborne tried to strangle his wife once too, so let's never shut up about that either. While we're at it, we should also keep in mind how Einstein supposedly treated his wife before we go about treating his memory with such honor; sure, he had brilliant insights into the world of physics that completely changed the way we look at the universe, but we can at least be sure to mention his foibles whenever his his brilliant work is brought up — we don't want to inadvertently condone such behavior, you know. And isn't it rumored that Disney may have uttered some racist and anti-Semitic things? Maybe it's time we change that companies name. I know we don't know the whole stories about any of these people or how blown out of proportion the rumors about them may be, but that does matter when they're famous, right? We should be allowed to sully their names and threaten their livelihood all we want, even if the only information we're judging them on is an hours worth of a private conversation they had 10 years ago; surely that's more than enough to judge an entire life on. Their personal lives are ours to judge, nose in on, and publicly condemn as much as we'd like, right? It's not like they're fallible people deserving of moving forward with their life or anything (if they try, though, let's be sure to throw a fit about it).Long story short (too late for that?), I really want Mel Gibson to direct the Suicide Squad sequel. I mean, isn’t the plot even kind of about bad guys getting a second chance? Seems almost meant to be.