Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department/associated press photo
MELTDOWN: Mel Gibson’s drunken, anti-Semitic tirade after being pulled over for drunk driving late last Friday has provoked speculation that the actor/director, who weathered the controversy over The Passion Of The Christ, his last film, and ended up with many millions of dollars for the trouble, might have made as close to a fatal mistake as you can make in Hollywood that doesn’t involve a spinoff of Friends.
Gibson has issued a public apology for the incident, in which he threatened several police officers and rambled on about Jews being “responsible for all the wars in the world.” He was probably closer to the truth when he repeated a maudlin refrain that “my life is f****d,” though how f****d remains to be seen. A story in Monday’s L.A. Times stated the obvious — that Gibson has handed Disney a big bag of turds for the promotional leadup to the December release of Apocalypto, his latest film — but added that the fate of another Gibson production is even more doubtful.
Gibson’s production company was working with Disney subsidiary ABC on a miniseries set during the Holocaust, based on the 1998 memoir of a young Dutch Jew. An ABC spokeswoman told the Times that the show is only in the early stages of production, and that there’s no script yet, but Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has urged Gibson to drop the “inappropriate” project.
On Monday, ABC announced that the series was being dropped, but don’t write Gibson off entirely. As the Times pointed out, there are few moral penalties on Hollywood’s rule books these days. Roman Polanski, convicted of sex with a minor, might be in European exile, but he still won an Academy award, and director Victor Salva (Powder, Jeepers Creepers), imprisoned on child molestation charges, still had a film (Peaceful Warrior) out this summer. Woody Allen’s career has suffered more from bad films than from his affair with former girlfriend Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, and former Columbia Studios chief David Begelman suffered less after embezzling $50,000 US than his accuser, actor Cliff Robertson. There’s probably nothing that another Lethal Weapon or Mad Max film won’t fix, and sadly there’s always foreign gross in countries where Gibson’s remarks have probably made him a hero.
FASHION HAS NO MERCY: A big fat padded binder full of promotional bumf on the fall lineup on Alliance Atlantis’ cable channels arrived the other day, and if it was good for nothing else but the high quality pen that came inside, it confirmed that Season 3 of Project Runway starts on the Life Network on Sept. 4.
I’ve been catching up with Season 3 — which started airing on the U.S. Bravo network last month — thanks to clips on YouTube and recaps on TelevisionWithoutPity.com, and I can tell you that the new cast isn’t lacking in personality, and certainly suffers from no shortage of hiss-worthy villains and preening jackasses.
A few of the competitors seem to have a modicum of talent, but that’s not why you’ll tune in, so you should just admit it right now, girlfriend.