Oh, Here’s the Outrage

Interesting to find a defense of Mel Gibson in TIME:

God spoke to Andy Rooney; he (Rooney) told us so on ?60 Minutes? this week. The Almighty roused Mr. Eyebrows from the slumber of the senescent and confided, ?Mel is a real nut case. What in the world was I thinking when I created him? Listen, we all make mistakes.? Then Rooney had a question of his own for Gibson: ?How many million dollars does it look as if you’re going to make off the crucifixion of Christ??

As Bart Simpson would say, that?s funny for so many reasons. Only a few weeks ago, movie insiders were confidently predicting that Gibson, whose ?Passion? was rejected by every major studio, would lose his hairshirt over this movie?the $30 million of his own money it took to produce, plus another bundle for prints and advertising. Now that the film has registered the highest opening-day midweek gross of any non-sequel in North American box office history, Gibson?s supposed to be a panderer, pimping Christ?s suffering…

Richard Corliss adds this warning to the Hollywood power brokers who passed on a chance to distribute what may become the biggest foreign-language film in American history:

I can?t be sure that the anti-Christ has ever directed or starred in a major motion picture, but plenty of drug addicts, spouse-abusers and convicted felons have?it?s called the artistic temperament. One man convicted of child molestation has directed films for Disney and New Line. Gibson?s criminal rap sheet is clean; he is guilty only of standing by his deluded old man and expressing opinions that are less popular in Hollywood than they are in the rest of the country. For some of the industry?s moguls to deny him employment because they don?t like what he said, or because he made a controversial film, would send a creepy message to the public: that a liberal is someone who will defend to the death your right to agree with him.


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