After a DUI, domestic-abuse scandal, and a few well-publicized expressions of anti-semitism and racism and sexism, can a movie star rehabilitate his career? That’s been the common question around Mel Gibson for at least a half-decade. In 2010, Ricky Gervais blasted him on stage at the Golden Globes, setting up tonight’s testy exchange between the two men. The moment was bound to be weird, but whether it was supposed to be this weird isn’t clear. It seemed genuinely acrimonious to me on first viewing, but maybe the entire episode was choreographed in hopes of giving Gibson his final punishment.
“A few years ago on this show I made a joke about Mel Gibson getting a bit drunk and saying a few unsavory things,” Gervais began. “We’ve all done it. I wasn’t judging him, but now I find myself in the awkward position of having to introduce him again. Listen I’m sure it’s embarrassing for both of us, and I blame NBC for this terrible situation. And Mel blames... Well, we know who Mel blames.”