So, Mel Gibson is up to two racist rants. What does this mean for his career?
—Paul R. via Facebook
In the days since we were treated to his latest screed—women and African-Americans are the new Jews, or haven't you heard?—we've learned three things:
(1) Gibson apparently likes to verbally abuse women (and perhaps worse); (2) if he's sorry about it, he isn't saying; and (3) nobody has dropped Gibson from his current slate of projects.
And, yes, he does really still have those...
Shooting has just wrapped on a prison picture that Gibson both wrote and starred in. How I Spent My Summer Vacation was shot in Brownsville, Texas, and in Mexico. It's a charming tale of a criminal who learns lessons from a kid on how to survive in jail, or something.
Now, does that mean that the film will still get its planned 2011 release date? Maybe not. But in the meantime, there's also the Jodie Foster comedy The Beaver; nobody can fire Gibson from that one, either, because, like Summer Vacation, it has already wrapped.
Gibson is also attached to three other projects slated for the next two years, and experts tell me that, while production or distribution may be delayed, don't be surprised if Gibson himself stays on board.
"He may be on green-light lists for studio films," muses casting director Bonnie Gillespie of Cricket Feet. "But I can't imagine that there is anyone at any studio or production company that is saying, 'Let's still do this Gibson project now.' They'll be thinking, 'Let's push it another year until things die down'."
And things certainly need to die down.
According to the researchers at Hall & Partners WebWord, Gibson is being hammered in the blogosphere. Last year at this time, about 27 percent of all blog mentions of Gibson were negative. Now, it's closer to 43 percent.
And as of right now, no casting director will touch him, Gillespie tells me. And that says a lot; usually there's at least some leeway, some cheap project or desperate production house that'll take anybody.
"Last time he did this, you thought, 'Oh, he was drunk, he lost his mind a little bit'," Gillespie explains. "People thought he learned his lesson, but that wasn't true. He's out of control, and he's going to be poison for a while."
Operative phrase there? "For a while."
Seriously. Like some bigoted cockroach obsessed with rape-wish fantasies, Gibson just seems to stick around, no matter what type of fallout he's created for himself.
(Originally published July 7, 2010, at 5:19 p.m. PT)