Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jodie Foster Comes to the Defense of Mel Gibson

I will be the first to say that Mel and Jodi had great chemistry together in Maverick. but enough should really be enough.  Though Jodi is apparently his longtime friend, at what point do you decide that your friend is deeply damaged?  It is not like Gibson is being shunned for no reason.  He has proven to be a racist, sexist asshat.  His recorded threats to Oksana reveal a man that is filled with rage, but apparently for Foster it amounts to a "dark time" in his life.
A longtime pal of Mel's, Foster was one of the few celebs to go public with her support of the thesp in the wake of his infamous Jew-hating, sugartitted rant several years ago, and in a new interview has once again—this time in the wake of completing a suddenly indefinitely postponed film with Gibson—risen to his defense.

In an interview with More magazine, conducted several months prior to Oksanagate, Foster called Gibson the "easiest, nicest person I've ever worked with…The second I met him, I said, 'I will love this man for the rest of my life.'"

Lest you think that an unfair barometer of Foster's feelings toward Gibson, the magazine contacted the actress after tape upon tape (upon tape) of vile, misogynistic and generally hateful vitriol was released from his leaked voicemails.

Credit to Foster, she didn't change her tune.
"When you love a friend, you don't abandon them when they are struggling," she told the magazine. (source)
At first I was tempted to believe that her support was based on their as yet unreleased movie, The Beaver, however; with further reading, it became clear that for Jodie, this comes down to standing beside a friend in a time of need.  I fully understand the impetus to be loyal, but I also question the desire to hold onto a friendship with a man that has such reductive beliefs.  I may never have coffee with Mel Gibson, but I also don't have any bigots in my life that I call friend. 
 
Endorsements like this are exactly how celebrities make a come back after a public disaster.  As time passes, the true nature of the action will begin to dim in the mind of the public. We begin to twist the story and blame the victim.  We are after all talking about larger than life Mel Gibson.  The same man that stared in the Lethal Weapon series as well as The Patriot and who could forget the way he breathed life into William Wallace in Braveheart?   How could this same man be the vile person we heard on those tapes so long ago?  He must have been goaded into this behaviour and we all know how alcohol can loosen one's inhibitions.  The rationalizations can be made that easily and I have even less invested because I have never called that scurrilous man friend.

The kind of supremacy that Mel practices requires the collusion of others to be maintained.  Jodi may think that she is standing up for a friend, however her actions have a far more dire consequence.  Each time that we excuse behaviour that is harmful to one group, we affirm the idea that subjugation and abuse are acceptable.  There is always a reason to look away and let's be frank, who really wants to fixate on something that ugly?  The problem with acting in defense of men like Mel Gibson, is that they are not solitary in their actions. Behind the venom of each hate filled word was the assurance that there are millions of White men that support his right to assert his supremacy.  No action is ever carried out in a vacuum.