Friday, March 23, 2007

Mel Gibson in trouble again: well, he was rude

No, he wasn't arrested, but Mel,Mel,Mel,Mel,Mel, you gotta learn some temperance with your tongue. I don't blame you for being angry. Actually, I'm slightly bemused at your bluntness. I just wished it would have been in different circumstances, and maybe a better choice of words:

Gibson was speaking about his latest film, Apocalypto, at Cal State University at Northridge when several members of the audience began questioning his film's representation of Mayan culture. Witnesses tell TMZ that when Professor Alicia Estrada pressed the director about his inaccurate depiction of Mayan sacrifices, Gibson responded, "Lady, fuck off."

The actor/director's rep tells TMZ, "This person was a heckler who was rude and disrupted the event, so much so that the event organizers had to escort her out."

I like this comeback though:

Then members of the Mayan community protested on how they were portrayed in the film and as they escorted from the room by event organizers Mel screamed at them "Make your own movie!"

This is another account:

Alicia Estrada stood up and accused the filmmaker of misrepresenting Mayan culture in the movie. Witnesses to the incident say that Gibson then used the F-word and instructed Estrada to pick up a book on history and start reading.

Estrada is a professor of Central American studies at California State. Gibson’s reps are calling the woman a “heckler,” “rude” and “disruptive.” University spokesman John Chandler is calling the incident a “brief disruption to an otherwise interesting, stimulating event,” and added that university students were “very appreciative of Mr. Gibson being there.” Gibson, for his part, said that he regretted how things got out of hand.

Here's the thing about movies, and art in general: creators don't, in general make pieces to satisfy a group's sense of political correctness. A movie is an experience, constructed based on one person's interpretation. It's not academic history. I realize that many moviegoers can't make the distinction, but is Mel Gibson supposed to stop making movies from his perspective on the basis that his version doesn't live up to academia's standards?

As someone who has a B.A. in history, I am often disappointed in historical movies. I think most of them suck precisely because they usually get it wrong. But telling a conservative-minded movie maker to make it different is sheer ridiculousness. It's not about political correctness.

H/T:Relapsed Catholic.

UPDATE: Relapsed Catholic has an eyewitness account.

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