The answer is: very.
In an interview on Comingsoon.net, Gibson basically says he didn’t do anything wrong:
CS: Robert Downey went out of his way to publicly support you as you did him when he was going through personal crises. Is Hollywood ultimately a forgiving town?
Gibson: No it’s not. They have to forget. I don’t even think they’re vindictive. I don’t think they think there’s reason to forgive. And forgive what to begin with? What are they asking for? It’s almost like can you please forgive me for what? What did I do, really? It is kind of ridiculous. So it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what needs to be forgiven and I don’t consider that anything does because I didn’t hurt anyone. But you know, hey that’s life. It ain’t easy and it’s not fair. You’ve just got to slip the old water off the back and move on.
Let’s take a moment to let that sink in. What did I do, really?
So yes, while Gibson didn’t kill anyone (COUGH OJ COUGH), it’s not like he did nothing. Does he not remember his highly offensive anti-Semitic rant of 2006? It’s kind of hard to overlook a statement like “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”, and frequent pairings of the word “fuck” and the word “Jew” in all sorts of combinations. I sorta don’t care that he was drunk – in fact I think that just proves that these are his true feelings. Add to this his insane conversation with his estranged girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, where he threatened her repeatedly, and (still unsure how true this is) the claims made by Joe Ezsterhas in a very long letter that: “I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”
Mel Gibson can hate Jews. Really, he can. Do I think it’s a good thing or a moral thing to hate someone based solely on their religion? Should Mel hate Jews? Absolutely not. It is pretty despicable. And awfully hateful. And Gibson strikes me as a man absolutely filled with hate. But you have to separate the man from his work…or at least try to.
And I’ve tried. Apart from The Passion of the Christ, which honestly made ME want to kill all Jews in about five seconds, I’ve liked his work. As an actor he did some amazing films – Gallipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously – he had talent. As for the movies he made, they were a bit violent overall, sure. More than little bit of torture here and there…you bet. But I don’t think he’s a terrible director and the son of a bitch knows story structure.
And while I am fairly disturbed by pretty much anything that comes out this man’s mouth in real life…I have to try and think of him and his movies in two different categories. I can do it with Roman Polanski and Elia Kazan, surely I can try with Mel. I don’t do too well with it, but I can try.
So why do I think he’s clueless? Because HE doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with what he’s done. He doesn’t seem to get that the things that he’s said are hurtful. And incindiary. And very very dangerous. It’s not like he got drunk and crawled into someone else’s house (COUGH RDJr COUGH) or was found pleasuring himself in a movie theater (COUGH FRED WILLARD/PEE-WEE HERMAN COUGH). He spewed hatred towards an entire people and threatened physical violence to the mother of his child. These are not easily forgettable, or easily forgivable. Even if he thinks he should be forgiven, he should never pretend that any of this is something that can be swept under the rug and brushed off.
It’s his disconnect with reality that makes him clueless. At some point talent doesn’t outweigh simple human decency. He said horrible, terrible things. A little contrition and a little self-awareness would go a long way towards making him seem like he’s not the monster he comes off as.
Yes, you can’t be expected to have to grovel for the rest of your life if you truly made a mistake…but I don’t know that he really made a mistake. Unless that mistake was letting us see how he really feels.