Mel Gibson Addresses His Anti-Semitic Comments and the Fallout That Ensued: It's "Really Unfair"

Ten years later, the Hacksaw Ridge director hopes to move on

By Francesca Bacardi Oct 28, 2016 4:40 PMTags
Mel Gibson, Venice Film FestivalAndreas Rentz/Getty Images

Ten years have gone by since Mel Gibson was arrested in Malibu for drunk driving and was recorded going on an anti-Semitic rant, and now he's ready to move past all that.

Gibson hasn't directed a movie since 2006's Apocalypto, but this year he returns to the director's chair with highly anticipated Hacksaw Ridge. Starring Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss, the film tells the true story of the army medic who refuses to kill people in the Battle of Okinawa and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Similar to Birth of a Nation's Nate Parker, Gibson is aware that his work will face an uphill battle given his marred past, but he hopes people move on as he has.

Celebrity Comebacks

"Ten years have gone by," Gibson tells Variety's podcast Playback. "I'm feeling good. I'm sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it's a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don't understand why after 10 years it's any kind of issue."

The Academy Award winner insists he isn't racist or anti-Semitic, and doesn't want to have to pay for his alcohol-induced mistakes forever. "Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there'd be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been. I've never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation," he adds.

"And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life's work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair."

When Hacksaw Ridge premiered at the Venice Film Festival it reportedly received a 10-minute standing ovation. Early reviews say the movie flawlessly manages to be incredibly violent while sending a strong message about peace, and dubbed Gibson's work an official "comeback."

While it remains to be seen if this is truly a comeback from a box office point of view or even an Oscars point of view, it's clear Gibson is hoping that his work outshines his dark past.

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