I find this article bothersome: Can Hollywood ignore a film praised by critics? The film, of course, is Apocalypto, and “Hollywood” refers to those offended by Mel Gibson’s drunken abuse of a Jewish cop. Drunken driving is a very serious matter. Those who do it repeatedly, as Mel Gibson reportedly does, obviously have some issues, and when they get stopped and arrested they often become abusive. If the arresting officer is fat and bald he gets abused as fat and bald. The cops who stopped Gibson were a woman and a Jew, and he said offensive things about them as such.
All very sordid and objectionable. Gibson should apologize to the officers and do some serious thinking about the direction his life has taken (I assume he has). If his comments showed a bad attitude toward women and Jews he should think about that too. Both groups show the greatness of humanity, and not every Jew is an Abe Foxman. Why though is the incident the worst thing any Hollywood star has done in recent memory, so much so that it puts Leni Riefenstahl in mind and means that when Gibson directs a film there’s real doubt it will get considered in the Oscars for its artistic quality? The article quotes prominent people in the industry who oppose on principle giving Gibson’s film any consideration. What principle?
Someone who gives awards for artistry is acting in a sort of representative capacity, so particular ethnic interests shouldn’t affect the result that much. Suppose the situation were turned around: in a parallel world, Mel Gibowitz directs a film about Moses (and therefore about the oppression of Jews by gentiles). Later he gets stopped for drunken driving. The cop has a cross on his lapel, and our parallel-world Mel gets abusive and says “you fundies are responsible for all the violence in the world.”
Maybe that would show that our new Mel has some issues with Christians. If so, I’d hope he does some thinking about it. There’s a lot more anti-Christian sentiment than antisemitism in America today, and organized government suppression and often murder of Christian clergy and ordinary believers has been quite common over the past century. Those killed run into the millions. But still, if Hollywood were a heavily Southern Baptist town, I don’t think it would serve the interests of either the film industry or Southern Baptists if the incident were used to shut Gibowitz out. It would make those involved look self-involved, small-minded, oppressive and vengeful. What good would that do anybody?