The 'Passion' Over Mel's Meltdown

In this booking photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, actor-director Mel Gibson is seen in a booking photo taken Friday, July 28, 2006.
AP Photo/LA County Sheriffs Dept.
The ShowBuzz's Jessica Derschowitz researched and wrote this story.

Sorry, Tom Cruise — you've just been ousted as the blogosphere's favorite controversial newsmaker. The new top dog? Mel Gibson.

As anyone with access to the Internet/television/newspapers/radio now knows, Mel Gibson was arrested early Friday morning in Malibu for drunken driving.

The arrest, the anti-Semitic comments, the publicity statements and return to rehab that followed have been fodder for the blogging community ever since — some signaling this as the end of his career, others questioning his Christianity, but most thinking the apology he released the day after the incident isn't worth much at all.

For Israeli-born Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, Gibson's comments are enough to demand that Hollywood stop employing the actor — even if it means "sacrificing the bottom line."

"At a time of escalating tensions in the world, the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements," Emanuel, the basis for Jeremy Piven's character on HBO's "Entourage," writes on The Huffington Post's blog.

When Gibson released "The Passion of the Christ," he denied being anti-Semitic in response to allegations that the film blamed Jews for the death of Christ.

"For me, it goes against the tenets of my faith, to be racist in any form," he said. "There's encyclicals on it, which is, you know — to be anti-Semitic is to be un-Christian, and I'm not."

But exclaiming "F—king Jews!" and "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" in the back of a police car suggest otherwise, and have bloggers other than Emanuel asking for Gibson's curtain call.

The "Queen of All Media" Perez Hilton is one of them. In a posting titled "Gibson's Career is Over!" Perez writes, "He himself has been accused of being hateful in the past. This cements it. Down with this f—ker!"

Trent Vanegas of Pink Is The New Blog focuses more on Gibson's hypocrisy than his possible downfall, saying, "I seem to remember that Mel Gibson was very vocal about his Christian beliefs. I don't think he learned this behavior in church."

On July 29, Gibson released the first of two statements in which he apologized for his "despicable" comments and "out of control" behavior. Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, says the second apology "sounds sincere." But many in blogosphere say the actor's first attempt wasn't worth its weight.

I'm Not Obsessed's Vera Sweeny is one who's skeptical.

"Isn't rehab the 'Get Out Of Jail For Free' card celebrities like to pull whenever they want to erase something horrible they did from public memory?" she writes. "Now that he is getting help, are we all supposed to forget what he said?"
By Jessica Derschowitz