While out promoting his latest film role in Daddy’s Home 2, Mel Gibson addressed the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, calling the situation a “painful” revelation that will bring about change in Hollywood.
“Things got shaken up a little bit and there is a lot of light being thrown into places where there were shadows and that is kind of healthy,” he told The Guardian. “It’s painful, but I think pain is a precursor to change.”
Many celebrities have spoken out about the environment of harassment since Weinstein was accused of numerous instances of sexual misconduct and assault spanning decades. But this new spotlight placed on Gibson in the thick of things has brought old controversies to light.
Just last week, Samantha Bee criticized The Hollywood Reporter for deeming Gibson “once again family friendly” in its review for Daddy’s Home 2. “Because nothing says family-friendly like a racist domestic abuser with a drinking problem and the words ‘daddy’s home,'” she said in a segment on Full Frontal.
Along with his D.U.I. arrest in 2006, Gibson was heard unleashing an anti-Semitic rant against a police officer in a leaked recording. In 2010, his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, claimed the actor punched her and broke her teeth, after which Grigorieva revealed a secret tape she made of Gibson verbally attacking her using lewd verbiage (including the N-word).
Gibson admitted he “slapped Oksana one time with an open hand,” but claimed it was meant to stop her from shaking their then-1-year-old child, Lucia. “I did not slap her hard. I was just trying to shock her so that she would stop screaming, continuing shaking Lucia back and forth,” he said.
While promoting his directorial work Hacksaw Ridge in 2016, Gibson said he was 10 years sober. “Imagine the worst moment you have even had being recorded and broadcast to the world, and it wasn’t meant to be public,” he reflected on the leaked audio tapes. “You didn’t stand on a soapbox and do it, but that’s what happens.”
He also said last year of his anti-Semetic comments, “I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation. And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”
Gibson now appears as Mark Wahlberg’s on-screen dad in Daddy’s Home 2, which also stars Will Ferrell and John Lithgow.