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The Gibson Dilemma

On the verge of one post this week, I had to write something. Originally I thought this post might be too controversial. There’s also a chance I might change my mind on this issue at some point. It’s a tricky wicket that’s for sure, but here we go.

The trailer for the long postponed dramedy The Beaver was released recently and already there’s been heavy controversy and criticism surrounding the film. Telling the story of a depressed man (Gibson) who starts living his life through a beaver puppet, it’s been a hard sell considering Mel Gibson is the most despised man in Hollywood right now. I in no way condone what he did or feel the need to defend him, but I feel it’s  unfair to attack this movie before it has even been released.

I like Mel Gibson’s movies, maybe he’s a psycho in real life, but on the screen he’s charismatic and behind the camera, he’s proven himself to be a gifted storyteller. Where do we draw the line separating art from life? Should we boycott a film based on the unrelated, personal issues of one of its parts? I get it. He’s the star of a movie about how we should all forgive him, but he’s not the only one involved in this film. Again, I’m not trying to defend Gibson, I’m trying to defend movies. I don’t go to the movies cause I hear Will Smith is a nice guy, I go because I like to be entertained.
I think a prime example is Phil Spector, currently imprisoned for murder. MURDER! I don’t think any sane person supports that, but does that mean we should ignore or disregard his entire body of work? Of course not, it wouldn’t be fair to the music, or any of the other people who helped create it. The fact that he’s a convicted criminal has nothing to do with the music. The music should stand apart and be judged in its own category. You could almost consider Ty Cobb to be a similar case. It’s well publicized that he was a racist, jerk, and prone to violence, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great baseball player. It doesn’t mean we should ignore all his accomplishments and throw out his records.
I hate that celebrities personal lives have become so closely linked to their movies. That a breaking story on IMDB can be something like “Tori Spelling has twins.” That’s not news and that has nothing to do with movies or TV. It’s understandable that people want to know what celebrities are like, it makes them more relatable. Though I think there should be a fine line and people shouldn’t let these stories influence what they see at the cinema.

The Beaver could be good, it could totally suck, who knows? It’s just the fact that so many journalists, and columnists, and bloggers, are berating it so unfairly. Is it fair to director/co-star Jodie Foster, or any of the cast and crew? Why don’t we see it for ourselves before we pass such harsh judgment.