In a column tomorrow motivated by Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish recidivism, Times Calendar columnist Patrick Goldstein chides Hollywood executives for not distancing themselves from the actor-producer.
Amy Pascal is my hero.
When Times reporters Claudia Eller and Claire Hoffman called all the Hollywood big shots Monday to get reactions to Mel Gibson's now infamous anti-Semitic tirade during his arrest on suspicion of drunk driving, the Sony Pictures chairwoman was the only studio chief to go on the record with her outrage over Gibson's slurs, which included the Hamas-style charge that "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."
One of the few executives who wasn't mum was Disney's new production chief, Oren Aviv, who's releasing Gibson's new film, "Apocalypto," in December. And he actually defended Gibson! He told Slate's Kim Masters he has "a great relationship" with Gibson, adding, "We all make mistakes, and I've accepted his apology to what was a regrettable situation."
Only when you're in business with someone in Hollywood do you get to describe a man who's made vicious anti-Semitic slurs as being in a "regrettable situation." When Masters reminded Aviv that he had stopped talking to director Michael Mann because he'd been rude and disrespectful during the making of a film at Disney, Aviv demurred: "It's behind us. He's a talented director, and I respect his body of work."
This is how Hollywood works. The only morality in this town that really means anything is the bottom line. When the president of Harvard said women made lousy scientists, his colleagues jumped all over him. When Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker made a series of nasty ethnic slurs about various minorities, he was roundly criticized and dumped from the team.
But when an actor-director who has won an Oscar, had a string of action hits and made "The Passion of the Christ," one of the biggest-grossing movies in recent history, has an anti-Semitic hissy fit, the Big Kahunas of Hollywood are silent.
I suspect Goldstein really won't like it that Jewish organizations are now saying they accept Gibson's revised apology.