My article on Mel Gibson met a universal response: what he said and did was stupid. While some of you questioned the sincerity of his apology, I agree that we should be using this celebrity culture to highlight more important issues.
Sean Wightman of Scottsdale, Ariz., writes:
The Mel Gibson thing catches me a little bit surprised! We have all said stupid things in a drunken stupor and especially Hollywood. Why is this so off the charts for this Hollywood crowd?
Where is the outcry when Hezbollah fires missiles at innocent people and abducts Israeli soldiers? Why is Hollywood not standing up and screaming with their star power over this stuff? No, no, it is Mel Gibson that is the problem. Give me a break.
SRE: Great points Sean, we have much better things to worry about. I’m a proponent of using this incident to get more important things noticed.
Tom O’Keefe of St. Louis, Mo., writes:
In today’s Hollywood where so much money is made in the foreign market, I can’t help but wonder if Mel Gibson’s tirade is a shrewd marketing maneuver to increase his popularity in an increasingly anti-Semitic Europe.
I just wish there was as much outrage directed at the non-celebrities that kill Jews as there is at the celebrities that slander them.
SRE: Thanks Tom, many of you echoed this point!
James Berreth of Minneapolis, Minn., writes:
“You shouldn’t let what other people say about any group of people affect you. Being a Jew myself, I didn’t find much to be offended about in Mel’s comments. He was drunk and he is always in the public eye. If you were taken to task on everything you have said while inebriated in any way, what would you say to excuse your poor choice of words? Would you want everyone to hold you accountable past the point of an apology? Me neither...”
SRE: Although I think condoning stereotypes about groups of people can influence our political landscape, I agree that the apology should be accepted and should be used as a vehicle for something positive.
Keith Greer of Maryland writes:
While there is no excuse for what Mel said, I’d like to hear what you would say drunk and with it your preferences and prejudices. If you want to inform the public, discuss the negative effects of abusing alcohol! Tell the young people of its dangers and depressive effects and condemn its abuse. How about using your influence to help your listeners?”
SRE: Point taken, although highlighting political issues is more in line with my area of expertise.
Pat M. of Harrison, Ariz., writes:
My father was a recovered alcoholic. When he drank, he said things that in a million years he never would have said when he was sober. Never. Alcohol is not a truth serum for the alcoholic, it induces an alter-ego.
Mel Gibson didn’t make excuses, he owned up, admitted his mistake, and has issued apologies.
SRE: Thanks Pat, I agree that we all make mistakes and how we address and correct them determines our character.