Mel Gibson on the set of the BeaverMonday October12, 2009. (AP Photo/Donald Traill)
On the heels of being investigated for domestic violence and being caught on tape saying pretty much every bad thing you really shouldn’t say, Mel Gibson has now been dropped by WME, his talent agency. Deadline Hollywood says:
I've just learned that WME Entertainment actually fired Mel Gibson the day before his longtime Hollywood agent Ed Limato's death last weekend… Last Friday, WME board member Ari Emanuel "woke up at 3 AM and emailed his partner Patrick Whitesell that 'we can't represent a guy who said the N-word'." So the agency dumped Mel Gibson on July 2nd, and the next day, on July 3rd, his agent Limato died.
It takes an awful lot for a talent agency to not want to represent a major Hollywood superstar. You basically have to poison children, or do what Gibson did. And so it seems Gibson’s long gestating fall from grace is about complete. Career obits for the man are pooping up all over the place.
The Examiner reports that Gibson had two movies in the can before this most recent contretemps: “The Beaver” directed by Jodie Foster, and an action movie called “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” “The Beaver,” in particular, is intriguing because its screenplay has been lauded around Hollywood, and its premise – a man breaks down and begins communicating solely via a beaver hand puppet – is insane enough to match Gibson’s apparent state of mind. It’s a crucial role for Gibson because, as it stands right now, it’s likely his last chance to get into the good graces of the American public, if that’s still at all possible.
It’s impossible to say someone’s career in Hollywood is ever officially over. Hollywood isn’t exactly run by one guy, and show business is by nature a comeback business. An actor and director of Gibson’s stature and success isn’t going to be left homeless on the curb any time soon. Shady foreign investors will still happily throw money his way to let him make movies. And look at Charlie Sheen. He’s an arguably worse human being who remains gainfully employed by a major TV network. If you’ve proven you can make money, Hollywood will never turn its back on you.
But there’s a palpable sadness to how Gibson’s career has turned of late. He used to be so darn LIKABLE. So rakish. So charming. That’s all over now. You’re not gonna buy him in “Maverick 2” these days. Like so many before him, Gibson’s offscreen baggage will now forever supplant whatever he throws up on the screen, no matter how good it is. Like Tom Cruise, we found out more about Gibson than we ever wanted to know, and now he’s pretty much ruined for us. He’ll now go to our collective discard pile: still working but, in our minds, a has-been. It’s always disappointing when you realize the actor in real life doesn’t live up to the giants he plays on screen. No actor ever can, but few actors have so quickly widened that gulf like Mel Gibson has in the past few years.