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Mel Gibson: What Women Don’t Want

Christopher Agutos |
July 16, 2010 | 10:18 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Mel Gibson (Creative Commons)
Mel Gibson (Creative Commons)
Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Once the promising successor to the A-list actress throne, the ripe-with-talent young star of "Mean Girls" Lindsay Lohan was once destined for entertainment greatness. 

A few coke binges and bad movies later and boy, how that dream has faded. 

Now after grossly violating her probation, the only place Hollywood’s resident bad girl is destined to go is the state penitentiary, decked out in an orange jumpsuit that’ll nicely match her natural hair color. 

Same goes for movie star Mel Gibson, who was once considered a well-respected, likable member of the city’s inner circle. Appearing in handfuls of memorable films including "Braveheart," "The Patriot" and (ironically) "What Women Want," Gibson wasn’t just talented but multi-talented. Despite his unforgivable off-screen slip-ups, Gibson is a great example of your modern-day, do-it-all actor, screenwriter, producer and director.

However, many would argue that none of that matters anymore.

Whatever remaining hopes of a successful career he had after his drunken, anti-Semitic tirade back in 2006 collectively died last week.

The tabloid mill went berserk after several tapes never meant to be heard by the public were leaked to website RadarOnline.com.  

As if the star could afford any more negative press, the tapes feature a man’s voice presumed to be Gibson launching into a horribly racist and sexist rant against another voice reportedly belonging to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

"You go out in public and it's a f***ing embarrassment to me. You look like a f***ing b**** on heat and if you get raped by a pack of n***ers it will be your fault," says the man (who we all know to be Gibson). 

And that’s just a snippet. 

For the entertainment world, this blistering summer week in July will forever be remembered as the beginning of the end for the bitter actor. Entertainment publicity firm William Morris Endeavor wasted no time and immediately dropped Gibson from its high-profile list of clients, and rightfully so. The content and vulgarity displayed in the tapes support the fact that representing him would be an absolute PR nightmare. 

But aside from Gibson’s sinking professional career lies an even bigger personal issue: domestic abuse.

The sting is undeniably felt throughout the conversation, in which the man not only threatens extreme degrees of violence but on one call even maniacally tosses around the idea of burning down his girlfriend’s home.

Reports say Grigorieva began recording phone conversations between herself and Gibson after she filed a restraining order against him last month, claiming he had punched her in the face. Since the tapes’ release last week, the Malibu Hills Police Department has reopened the investigation.

The shocking moments bring to mind the memories of the industry’s most recent poster children of domestic abuse. 

Singers Rihanna and Chris Brown found themselves in the middle of a heated dispute turned aggressively violent back in February 2009, after the couple had an argument on the car ride home from a GRAMMY Awards pre-party.

Though in Gibson and Griogorieva’s case, a tumultuous custody battle involving their 8-month-old daughter is likely to be the source of the fallout, the thread of domestic violence is still woven deeply in both.  

The constant reminders and references of domestic abuse in pop culture serve as powerful opportunities for the public to engage and discuss. If the issue were to be addressed, Gibson’s shameful indiscretion should be used as an example of the issue’s real-life severity.  

Celebs should also take a stance and exercise their platforms to dismiss Gibson’s actions and support the cause. Why aren’t any other stars or colleagues of Gibson's letting their voices be heard on such a relevant issue?

In the end, Grigorieva’s sad situation is the common reality faced by millions of other domestic abuse victims. Though Gibson will surely fall fast from the Hollywood ranks deep into obscurity, the rest of us should allow his fighting words to aid in the fight against domestic violence.


Reach Reporter Christopher Agutos here.



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