Hey, Man, Leave Mel Gibson Alone

?uestlove is back, this time to tell us we should leave the racist lunatic alone.

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Jul. 20, 2010

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Photo by Sebastian Julian

By now you’ve no doubt heard one or all of the hideous, vulgar and violent recorded phone calls Mel Gibson made to Oksana Grigorieva, the woman he left his wife for and the mother of his youngest daughter. If not, spare yourself. You can never unhear such vile contempt, and it just leaves you feeling remarkably filthy.

Lots of people are weighing in on the Mel situation. Will it spell the end of his career? Is he actually, seriously insane? Will he do this woman more physical harm? All valid questions, and the answers seem to be yes, yes and yes. But maybe not. Because while most reasonable minds agree that Mel Gibson is a destructive psycho power-drunk on his own ego, a clown who’s now crossed the line from being a once-in-awhile curio to a violent danger to all those around him, he does have some support.

Would you believe there are actually people defending him, upset that Oksana Grigorieva even recorded his rants without his knowledge? It’s true—just trudge through the comments on any post about it, and you’ll find them. “Fine,” you say, “but these aren’t regular folks. They’re Internet commenters, emboldened by anonymity.” We hear you.

But Mel is also getting sympathy from ?uestlove, who, much like his take on alleged murderer and rapist Donte Johnson, has a very unique perspective from On High about the whole Mel Gibson thing. He’s taken to Twitlonger again to tell us how, but by the grace of God, we are all Mel Gibson. The (very fake) contents of the post follow:

look, a lot of y’all turnin’ this mel gibson recorded phone call thing into something super ugly. my timeline and my fund raising efforts obviously state that i hope he gets what he deserves.

let me just say this from the outset, before y’all get it twisted: what mel gibson says to this young lady over the phone is unacceptable. There is no doubt about that.

BUT, i cannot look at mel’s body of work and just dismiss him like that. i cannot hop with you on the “fuck this fucking misogynist monster” train. the year of living dangerously is my shit. i love it. maverick. bird on a wire. i even liked that movie he did with julia roberts, conspiracy theory. and, ahem, hamlet! come on, fam. jude law’s hamlet ain’t got nothin’ on Mel’s, and I went to see jude perform it twice on broadway, so i think i know what i’m talkin’ about!

and that’s before i even get to the big hits, son. hello? MAD MAX. say what you will about mel, but the guy has always been a bit nuts. in the past, that’s what we loved about ole dude. He is MAD MAX. He WAS the lethal weapon in LETHAL WEAPON! he is crazy enough to paint his face blue and gray and take on armies of men on his own. he is BRAVEHEART. this is what we love about bol. He is MAD.

i’ll never forget the first time i saw lethal weapon. it was one of the first scenes, and the police are at a nursery or some shit bargaining with some bad dudes. but mel flips the script on some ole three stooges shit and totally fucks up these bad guys on his own, while the rest of the force just watches in awe and horror. that’s a bad dude right there. and that was mel’s real intro to america—the fuckin’ crazy dude who was mad as a hatter and didn’t give a fuck. we fell in love instantly.

and now we tryin’ to hate him for the same shit. why? because this is real life? exactly. mel is being real! you ever been in love? what, your girl never drove you crazy?

i know what you are thinking: “?uest, that doesn’t mean he can tell his girl she got a ‘dysfunctional cunt.’” i totally agree. no man should tell his girl she’s got a dysfunctional cunt. or that he’s going to kill her and bury her in the rose garden. or knock two of her teeth out with a punch while she’s holding their infant daughter. no man should tell his girl she’s a pig and a slut and a fake whore who deserves to get raped by a pack of anything. i get that.

anwyay, just here to say, yes, mel was wrong. but you should stop telling him he’s wrong. because you don’t fully get where he was coming from as an artist and a mad man and a director of passion of the christ and apocolypto. just as women everywhere internalized “that could’ve been me or any of us!” i internalized mel. because, but for the grace of god, we are all Mel Gibson.

i’m just glad he’s white.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. pete said... on Jul 21, 2010 at 06:16PM

“I have been fired for sexual harassment, terroristic
threats, racist comments, and general misconduct
so I know what it is like to have NO reputation let
alone a ,"tarnished one".

I am a recovering mysogonist and racist so what
Mel apparently said is really nothing compared
to the trouble I got myself into as a onetime career
retail manager.

I thought Mel was smart enough to realize that
privacy does not exist anymore. I also thought
he had some heart considering he is a devotee
of Christ through Catholic tradition. I wonder
if Mel is possessed by the very malevolence
his religion claims is the cause of all of our woes.

None of us know what is going on with Mel or
his relationships. I have screwed up in a bad
way like he has and I don't know for sure what
is going on in my own mind., let alone other
people's minds.

I hope Mel's apparent rantings further erode
the cult of the celebrity and wake us all up out
of our big screen delusions about famous folk.

may we all be free.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jul 22, 2010 at 11:52AM

“?uest...you're a great drummer and musician but let me remind you. All the movies you mention that Mel was in...how great he was...remember...someone else put the words in his mouth (the screenwriters) and the action was choreographed...what he said on the phone came direct from his heart and mind. Let's separate fact from fiction.”

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3. shellie piper aka 3177345 said... on Jul 23, 2010 at 01:52PM

“yeah because you can't say Mel Gibson so you can say Mel now but thats still the problem so he's going to act that way, oh and look how he carries the Postman around with his Braveheart for everyone.”

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4. Dahda357 said... on Jul 25, 2010 at 07:06PM

“nothing should suprise anyone about Gibson he is an anti-semite so when you hate jews ,why should anybody be suprised he is a women beating, racist, scumbag. My only question is why did it take solong before the true Mel show himself-see you in jail "Braveheart"-HAH ha ha”

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5. Titus said... on Jul 26, 2010 at 02:48PM

“?uestlove is trying to be sympathetic here. Thats more than most of you high-and-mighty jerks could attempt to do. Now most people here have not fallen to the depths that mel gibson has fallen to, and most people here are probably not afflicted by alcoholism, so these things mel has said are shocking. Remember though, he is a human bbeing and he has problems. What if this was your family member? would you guys honestly just dump someone so easily even i the family member had real mental problems? Before we so easily judge him, we should realize that most of us, if we are honest, have said horrible things that we could not take back, and most of us were not taped in the process and judged harshly by half the world. I am surprised there arent more people out there with the character to realize taht judging someone so harshly without actually knowing the person is damaging and truly hateful.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Jul 26, 2010 at 03:06PM

“There are racists in this world who will never tell a living soul how they really feel. I have said racist things and felt racist things. But I grew to understand that I was totally wrong. I have come to realize that racism in america is a systemic problem ingrained in the fabric of this nation. I have come to see that racism is a problem that will never go away. It is such a complex problem, and it is a problem that is compounded by people simplifying the issue in so many different ways. So many folks out there brandish others as racist and fail to realize that the issue is so complex. Racists arent born, they are grown. They are grown from the household, to the nation that they live in. The feelings stem from the horrifically simplistic, to the extremely complex. To attack someone as racist and judge someone like Mel in the way people are doing recently just compounds the problem and further muddles this issue.”

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7. Titus said... on Jul 26, 2010 at 03:30PM

“We do not know Mel or his heart. What if Mel has thought about these issues of race? What if his thoughts are more complex than so many of you guys give him credit for? A person with racist thoughts may have more going on in his mind than the stereotypical southern bedsheet wearing KKK brandishing bigot. This is not excusing racism. On the contrary. I am trying to shed light on this issue, which deserves so much more thought than most put into the subject. If people would start thinking about the issues of race, instead of just shooting off knee-jerk reactions, we might be on the beginning of actually creating an edifying dialogue that could help heal just a little bit of the hurts that have been created in America the past hundreds of years.”

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