Isaiah Washington, Mel Gibson

Arnold Turner/; Giulio Marcocchi/Sipa Pres

You'd think we'd be loving this Mel Gibson drama since the guy's been pretty much asking for it a for a long time—certainly since he christened a female California Highway Patrol officer "sugar tits" during one notorious Mel meltdown. He's a regular Sarah Palin, really, offering one bombshell misstep after another. But here's the rub:

Despite everything that's happened with he-said, she-said drama and those heinous Oksana Grigorieva tapes, Mel Gibson will still retain sizable Hollywood power. Don't listen to those who say he won't. The guy may never land a starring role again, but as a producer, he has enough money, accolades and box-office clout to exert his influence on greedy H'wood players—no question. T-town doesn't usually remember human perversion in the long run. It's sad, but it's a fact: Mel, as a producer, will survive.

Unlike Isaiah Washington:

Think back to Washington and his Grey's Anatomy scandal a few years ago, when he raged on poor T.R. Knight and used gay slurs. He was widely denounced, certainly by this columnist, as well as by myriad media screamers and celebrities. As he should have been.

Result: Isaiah pretty much disappeared off the face of the planet, despite attempts to get back into Hollywood's good graces ('cause let's face it, the guy was a great actor and a rising star). And just like Mel's debacle, his was hardly devoid of press coverage.

Nope, we haven't forgiven Isaiah for his homophobia—score one for the gays. But is this entirely fair? And is it right that some are defending Mel and his misogynistic, abusive and racist comments and actions? The guy should be thrown in jail or into a dark, isolated cave somewhere, never to be heard from again. Instead, we'll probably see a few biopics and a period drama bearing his name as a producer in the not-too-distant future.

And yet Gibson's actions are arguably worse than Washington's—that is, if you're comparing, which is probably a pretty bad idea with human atrocities. Point is, Mel had prior big-time clout; he'll be back. Isaiah didn't, so there.

Yep, Hollywood will continue to be a town where the dollar is the bottom line Unless I'm proven wrong here? O.J. anybody?

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Photos: Mel Gibson's Crazy Faces

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