Believe it or not, he used to have one of the hottest careers in showbiz, but now Mel Gibson just can't seem to get out of his own way. First there was the DUI incident in which he was quoted as making anti-Semitic remarks about the arresting officer. Then there were the damaging tapes that his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva released that contained an irate and out of control Gibson screaming, ranting, and swearing a blue streak that would make Lenny Bruce blush. Now, a writer working with Gibson on his latest film has released another recording of a angry rant Mel made and once again tinges or racism and harsh words for Grigorieva were on display.
The story behind the tape is that Joe Eszterhas, a screenwriter who was working with Mel on "The Maccabees," released the tapes after Gibson accused him of lying about their existence. Eszterhas was furious at the "Lethal Weapon" star for allegedly making lewd and anti-Semitic remarks in front of his 15-year-old son. Eszterhas teed off on Mel in a letter sent between the two that was leaked online. Gibson went into damage control, calling the story "utter fabrications." Eszterhas responded by giving the taped recordings, which he told Mel he had in the letter, to the press.
The motivations for releasing the tape? "My interest isn't to damage him with this tape but to prevent damage being done to others, starting with Jews, including Oksana and now, I'm sure, me," said Ezsterhas. He also warned that unless Mel "seeks and receives some kind of psychiatric help, someone is going to get hurt." It was prodding from his son that brought Eszterhaus to actually release the tapes.
Believe it or not, there could still be hope for Gibson to get his career back on track. It wouldn't be easy, but if he takes the next three steps, perhaps there's a chance to for him to right the ship.
Make a Sincere and Meaningful Public Apology - We're not talking about releasing a statement through a rep, or going on a show that will lob him softball questions. We're talking about Mel going in front of cameras and reporters in a press conference, and actually making a sincere apology to everyone his words have hurt or offended. In order for it to be genuine though, he may have to actually acknowledge why what he said was hurtful and damaging, and that would be the key to showing the public that he can see where and why he went wrong.
Volunteer For A Charity - Sure, he could just cut a check or two to a couple of different women's or anti-discrimination charities. However, that too could just be seen as an empty gesture, or an attempt to put a band-aid over the issue entirely. Instead, for Mel to show that's learned a lesson, he should work with the people he offended and hurt. He could volunteer at a women's shelter, or at the Anti-Defamation League, for instance. It may not be comfortable, but it would demonstrate he doesn't harbor any any real animus towards those groups.
Get Some Real Therapy and Stay Quiet For Awhile - This is actually the most important thing Mel could do to repair his career. Without it, the public will continue to think that the next meltdown is around the corner. Therapy, combined with an extended period of time in which another rant isn't released would do the most good for Gibson's reputation.
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