Mel Gibson: String of shocking incidents that sank his career – NEWS.com.au

Posted By on June 24, 2020

He was once one of Hollywoods most bankable stars, an unrivalled A-lister who took hits like Braveheart and Lethal Weapon to the top of the box office charts.

But since Mel Gibsons career was mired by a string of abusive incidents and vile anti-Semitic remarks, hes landed in an unofficial movie jail with producers too anxious to go near him.

The 64-year-old actor has most recently been reportedly left out of plans for the Netflix Chicken Run sequel after Winona Ryder accused him of anti-Semitism.

He was the voice of Rocky, one of the main characters in the original Chicken Run in 2000.

Ryder claims Gibson asked her at a party in 1995 if she was a Jewish oven dodger an apparent reference to the ovens used to burn the bodies of Jews murdered in Nazi death camps.

The Stranger Things star also alleged that at the same party Gibson asked a gay friend of hers: Oh, wait, am I gonna get AIDS?

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Ryder said the Mad Max actor later tried to apologise for the remarks, but a representative for Gibson said the allegations are 100 per cent untrue.

But even that alleged incident is just one of many public disgraces attached to Gibsons name which have damaged his reputation and made him a pariah for many Hollywood executives.

Heres how the father-of-nine landed himself in movie jail from stomach-turning domestic violence to a racist drink-driving rant.

A DRUNK-DRIVING TIRADE

Gibsons career has been hampered by his battle with alcoholism and he claims to have started drinking at the age of just 13.

He was first banned from driving for three months when he drunkenly crashed his car in Toronto, Canada, in 1984.

Although he took a year off to battle his demons, his struggles with booze continued and he confided that he would drink five pints of beer with breakfast.

In the early 90s, he took more time off acting and sought professional help for his problem.

But his most high-profile incident involving alcohol came in 2006 when he was caught driving under the influence in California.

As he was being arrested, Gibson launched into an anti-Semitic tirade directed towards the officer arresting him which was recorded in his arrest report.

F***ing Jews, Gibson yelled. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?

He pleaded no contest to a drink driving charge and, after the report was leaked to the media, he apologised for his despicable behaviour.

The incident saw him effectively blacklisted for a decade in Hollywood.

But it was by no means his last controversy.

CLAIMS OF ANTI-SEMITISM

Gibson has repeatedly been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks, and even forwarding anti-Semitic ideas in his films.

In 2012, Basic Instinct writer Joe Eszterhas accused Gibson of shelving a film they were working on together about Jewish hero Judah Maccabee because Gibson hates Jews.

In a nine-page letter sent from Eszterhas to Gibson about the film, which was made public by The Wrap, Eszterhas said: I believe you announced the project with great fanfare a Jewish Braveheart in an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.

He also accused Gibson of using Jewish slurs including hebes, Jewboys, and oven-dodgers.

Gibson called Eszterhas accusations utter fabrications.

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But there have been other troubling incidents.

Fox News reported in 2015 that Gibson, during a 2013 interview for speechwriter Peggy Noonans in Readers Digest, downplayed the number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust.

He said: I mean when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now its four. I mean its that kind of numbers game.

Even his father, the late author Hutton Red Gibson, once gave an interview in which he said the Holocaust was fiction.

And Gibsons cinematic work has also attracted criticism.

In 2004, Gibsons independently funded film about the last hours of Jesus life, The Passion Of The Christ, was accused of being anti-Semitic, in part for its demonisation of Jewish characters.

The Jewish group Anti-Defamation League even issued a statement saying: The Passion could likely falsify history and fuel the animus of those who hate Jews.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CLAIMS

Its not just anti-Semitic slurs that have led some to accuse Gibson of bigotry.

In 2010, Gibson was accused of using racist and misogynistic language by gossip site Radar Online.

The publication claimed to have heard the audio of a seething voicemail left on the phone of Gibsons Russian pianist ex-partner, Oksana Grigorieva.

In it, Gibson allegedly said: You look like a f***ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n*****s, it will be your fault.

He was also reported to have threatened Grigorieva by saying: I am going to come and burn the f***ing house down.

In the same year, Grigorieva took out a restraining order against Gibson and accused him of domestic violence later claiming it left her with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Although the felony charge of domestic violence against him was ultimately dropped, he did plead no contest to a misdemeanour charge of battering his former girlfriend.

BLACKLISTED FROM THE BIG TIME

Gibsons legal and reputational troubles have repeatedly made it difficult for him to recapture the kinds of roles he enjoyed early in his career in blockbusters like Mad Max and Lethal Weapon.

The Grigorieva voicemail scandal came less than six months after the release of Edge Of Darkness, which looked set to be his Hollywood comeback.

It was his first major lead role since Signs in 2002, but he went back into relative obscurity during the fallout of his 2011 courtroom drama.

His professional gloom was compounded when talent agency William Morris Endeavor dropped him shortly after the racist tape was made public in 2010.

But a comeback to the mainstream looked to be on the way in 2016 with his biographical war film Hacksaw Ridge after effectively being blacklisted for years.

Critics lavished praise on the film and even Gibson himself was nominated for the Oscar for Best Director.

But with Ryders accusation putting Gibsons disturbing link with racism back in the public eye, he might never see himself freed from the movie jail of his own making.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission

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Mel Gibson: String of shocking incidents that sank his career - NEWS.com.au

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