- REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
It’s been 10 years since Mel Gibson was arrested on DUI charges on the Pacific Coast Highway in California.
And while police officers took him out of his car, the Oscar winner said the infamous words:
“F—ing Jews … the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
After the public recoiled in disgust, Gibson did the revealing interview apologizing for the comments and met with Jewish leaders.
In 2007, a judge even praised him for his progress in his alcohol rehab.
But the actor who was a sex symbol in the ’80s and went on to direct in the ’90s – and make one of the most profitable movies of all time, “The Passion of the Christ” – has never rebounded since that summer evening.
Gibson has starred in only six films since 2006 – including one that’s coming out this summer, “Blood Father.” And outside of the disappointing “Edge of Darkness,” none had a big studio backing it.*
Things didn’t get any better for the actor when in 2010 the talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment dropped Gibson after tapes surfaced of him going into a racist rant and making a death threat against his ex-girlfriend.
Shane Black – director of the new movie “The Nice Guys” and who wrote one of Gibson’s most legendary films, “Lethal Weapon” – thinks that he knows why the actor has had a lack of work.
“I think he’s essentially been blacklisted in the industry,” Black told Business Insider in a new interview. “I think people don’t want to work with him.”
- Pascal Le Segretain/Getty
Gibson has had some big players in the industry try to revive his career, including friend Jodie Foster, who cast him in her 2011 directing effort, “The Beaver.”
But Gibson hasn’t had near the revival of another of his buddies, Robert Downey Jr., whose substance-abuse problems in the late ’90s led him to go to prison.
In fact, Downey told Black a while back that he’d like Gibson to direct an “Iron Man” movie if another one happens. Black directed “Iron Man 3.”
But Black says that there’s been no word since, and, as far as he knows, the idea of Gibson helming “Iron Man” is “nothing serious.”
Black is no stranger to substance abuse, either. He’s been open about his hard-partying ways in the ’90s and his battle to get sober in 2008.
And as someone with his own struggles, Black believes that Gibson needs to be forgiven.
I’ve always been a tremendous fan of Mel Gibson, not just as an actor, but I think he’s a good guy. I just don’t believe in holding anyone accountable for something that they say while they’re drunk because if I’m drunk I’m going to be deliberately belligerent, first off. I’m going to say something that I know will piss you off and will delight in the fact that I’m destroying the house and burning it down. That’s what drunk people do. So the idea that that’s truly who a person is when he’s had a few, I don’t believe that at all. I just think that’s wrong. I know a lot of great people and they are not necessarily great when they’re drunk. So I don’t trust that.
Gibson is in postproduction on his first directing effort in a decade, the World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield.
The Gibson we knew may never get his full comeback, thanks to the “nasty things” he said that night with the cops, as Black puts it. But he’s getting somewhere.
*This post has been corrected to reflect the fact that Mel Gibson has had one starring role in a movie backed by a major studio since his DUI charges, in “Edge of Darkness.”