If you fear #MeToo has gone "too far" in holding men accountable for their voluntary actions, you can take comfort in the official comeback of 1980s star with 1880s sensibilities Mel Gibson. The 63-year-old is set to write and direct the remake no one was asking for of the testosterone-drenched classic The Wild Bunch. Do you struggle to come up with names of 63-year-old women who are peers of Gibson and have similar sweet filmmaking deals but also lack his considerable baggage? Hey, me too!

Here are some reasons I guarantee are more concise than Braveheart for why Gibson does not deserve a return to the silver screen.


He Is A Confessed Abuser Of Women

Gibson's ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva alleged in 2010 that Gibson punched her in the head and face more than once (for the record, once is sufficiently terrible). She suffered from PTSD as a result. After pleading no contest to one misdemeanor count of domestic violence in 2011, Gibson was sentenced to three years' probation, counseling and community service. The slightly absent-minded judge (seriously, watch the clip below) also served Gibson a financially crippling $400 domestic violence fine. Had she never seen Lethal Weapon and just thought the scruffy old guy was a homeless drifter? Gibson is worth roughly $400 million. Do you know how many women he could beat with that kind of money (please don't do the math)? They should really have a sliding scale for these fines.

He Is A Crazy Racist Misogynist

During an intense custody battle over their daughter Lucia, secretly recorded tapes were leaked of Gibson berating Grigorieva over the phone. He called her a "bitch" and a "whore." He questioned the authenticity of her breasts and described her as a "psycho cunt" despite being the one threatening to "come and burn the fucking house down." He insisted that she'd "blow" him before the arson occurred. He infamously said that if she "got raped by a pack of niggers, it would be [her] fault." As I've explained, we come in "plethoras" not "packs."

Gibson said the recording and release of the tapes were a "personal betrayal" (the only person who matters here, I guess, is Gibson). He insists the tapes were "edited" but doesn't deny it's him making with the crazy talk. In an interview for Deadline Hollywood, he declared that "I've never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality — period." That is actually not true if you listen to the recordings because few people enjoy having gendered insults and racial epithets hurled at them. He went on to insist this wasn't really like him at all.

In his first public comments on the saga, Gibson said the tapes of phone calls leaked a year ago were edited, adding; "It's one terribly, awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day and doesn't represent what I truly believe or how I've treated people my entire life."

It's a shame Gibson didn't star in Memento because he'd have been perfect casting. This brings us to our next entry.

He Really Doesn't Like Jews When He's Drunk

Back in 2006, Gibson's car was stopped in L.A. for having a stumbling, incoherent drunk inside. Gibson hurled invectives at the arresting officer, who he presumed was Jewish because of the multiple horns he saw swirling around his head. According to the arrest report, he declared that "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!" That remains unproven. In 2016, Gibson had sobered himself up and was ready to place blame where it belonged.

"It was an unfortunate incident," Gibson said on "Playback" when asked about the fact that there are many who feel they can no longer support him or his work. "I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we'll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I'm not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever."

Poor, persecuted Mel sounds a little like Donald Trump with a fake Australian accent. Wait, Gibson wasn't actually born in Australia. He's also a New York native. If we ever see him visiting Iowa, we'll know we're screwed.

His Movies Have A Mean Homophobic Streak

Even for 1995, the scene in Braveheart where King Edward throws his gay son's lover out a window stood out as needlessly offensive. Gibson defended the scene as just demonstrating how evil the King is but it's clearly played for laughs, as is the gay "fop" prince, who is just one big mincing joke. Gibson feigned ignorance and expressed surprise that audiences laughed when the queer goes splat, but even I think enough of his filmmaking abilities to believe he knew what the reaction would be.

In the interminable 2004 Passion of the Christ, Gibson depicts Herod as a grotesque gay stereotype from a homophobic fever dream. Satan also tilts to the androgynous. The villains are thus in sharp contrast to the "masculine" heroes.

His Movies Aren't That Good

We are often lectured to separate the "art" from the "artist," but in Gibson's case, the art is often subpar. I get that he was once a sex symbol. My English teacher junior year was all a tingle when she took us to see Gibson in 1990's Hamlet. But auteur Gibson ain't all that. Hollywood is giving a second chance to an alcoholic racist beater of women because he directed Man Without A Face and Apocalypto?

He Still Has Yet To Answer For The War Crime That Is What Women Want

The big stain in the career of Nancy Meyers is this insulting 2000 rom-com where Gibson plays a sexist Chicago ad exec who can sell anything to men and sleep with any woman. But his career is in jeopardy because I guess his company discovered that women also buy things? Anyway, he's testing an electric hairdryer when he falls into the bath and instead of dying instantly, he gains the ability to hear women's thoughts. Most of which involve how hot Gibson is. Helen Hunt is the leading lady in this mess. Hunt is an Academy Award winner who directs TV shows now and pops up occasionally as "mature authority figure." Speaking of actors more deserving of big-budget comebacks.

Now it is your OPEN THREAD.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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