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Mel Gibson, Oksana Grigorieva (AP)

Mel Gibson's 'Bankable' Days Over: Film Writer

Jul 12, 2010

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Frank James

If there were any questions before as to whether Mel Gibson's career as a bankable Hollywood star was over, the latest scandal featuring misogynistic and racist rants, apparently by the actor, that were secretly recorded by his ex girlfriend would seem to remove all doubts.

Gibson's rancid explosions at Oksana Grigorieva are available on the web site radaronline.com. As All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris says in the introduction to a conversation with the Los Angeles Times film writer John Horn, if the Gibson affair "were a movie, it would be tough to watch." The recordings are hard to listen to.

In any event, Horn tells Michele that while Gibson might be able to survive in Hollywood behind the camera as a film maker, his days of lead roles are behind him.

HORN: I think it's fair to say the moral compass of Hollywood is dictated by money. The issue with Gibson is he has alienated so many people now, there are three questions. Who would want to give him money to work with him? Who would want to work with him — who would want to direct him or write for him or co-star beside him? And what person in the audience would want to pay money to see him? And I think you could answer "no" to almost all of those questions. And so, if you can't work with him, no one wants to hire him and people don't want to do see his movies, than you really have run out of options.

MICHELE: So is this really about morality or bankability?

HORN: Unfortunately, I think it's really about bankability. There have been other actors and some of them are quite successful right now. Charlie Sheen is involved in a domestic violence case. He's working steadily. Alec Baldwin called his daughter a "thoughtless little pig." He's working steadily.

I won't say these are quite as extreme as what Mel Gibson said although, unlike Sheen, he wasn't arrested. I think it's more the compendium of his insults. That he has offended blacks. There's an allegation that he made a derogatory comment about Latinos. He's offended women. And he previously had offended Jews. And I don't know who's left.

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