|Gibson√É¬Ę√Ę‚Äö¬¨√Ę‚Äě¬Ęs Mad Max made him a gay icon, until...
Once a Bigot, Always a Bigot?
In 1991, actor Mel Gibson made some pointedly homophobic slurs directed at gay men. Reporter Rex Wockner filed this story in early 1992.
Actor Mel Gibson, speaking Jan. 21  on ABC-TV‚Äôs ‚ÄúGood Morning America,‚ÄĚ refused to apologize to gay men, who he ridiculed late last year in an interview with the Sunday magazine of Spain‚Äôs largest newspaper, El Pams.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think there‚Äôs an apology necessary, and I‚Äôm certainly not giving one,‚ÄĚ Gibson said. ‚Äú[Those remarks were a response] to a direct question. If someone wants my opinion, I‚Äôll give it. What, am I supposed to lie to them?
‚ÄúThe other thing is, it was translated from English to Spanish, back from Spanish to English, then used by [columnist] Liz Smith [who received the story from this reporter] out of context in her article,‚ÄĚ Gibson said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs old news, really old news.‚ÄĚ
The Spanish-to-English translation was done by this reporter, who speaks Spanish, and by a professional translator who emigrated from Cuba.
The ‚ÄúGood Morning America‚ÄĚ interviewer pressed Gibson, ‚ÄúAre you saying to me that you did not make any antigay statements at all?‚ÄĚ
Gibson responded: ‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt lie. Put it that way. ... Liz Smith seems to be violating my right to have an opinion. I have a right to an opinion.‚ÄĚ
Robert Bray, spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, was livid at Gibson‚Äôs new statements.
‚ÄúAnd I have a right to respond to Mel Gibson‚Äôs antigay defamation,‚ÄĚ Bray said. ‚ÄúHe can kiss my queer ass. He can‚Äôt defame gays and then try to wiggle out of it by blaming the translation. And he‚Äôs not even denying he made the statements. He‚Äôs saying he has a right to his opinion.
‚ÄúGay fans of Mel Gibson need to throw away their ‚ÄėMad Max‚Äô tapes and stop going to his movies until he stops defaming gay people,‚ÄĚ Bray said.
In the original interview, in the Dec. 1 issue of the El Pams Sunday magazine, Gibson was directly asked his opinion of homosexuals. He responded, ‚ÄúThey take it up the ass.‚ÄĚ
According to El Pams, he laughed, got up, bent over, pointed to his butt, and continued, ‚ÄúThis is only for taking a shit.‚ÄĚ
(‚ÄúQue les den por el culo.‚ÄĚ Gibson se rme, se levanta, pone el trasero en pompa y se lo seqala. ‚ÄúEsto es sslo para hacer caca.‚ÄĚ)
The interviewer recalled that Gibson previously had expressed fear people would think he is gay because he‚Äôs an actor. He responded: ‚ÄúWith this look, who‚Äôs going to think I‚Äôm gay?
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I sound like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?‚ÄĚ
(‚Äú?Quiin va a pensar que con esta pinta soy ‚Äėgay‚Äô? Yo no me presto a ese tipo de confusiones. ?Sueno como un homosexual? ?Hablo como ellos? ?Me muevo como ellos?‚ÄĚ)
Gibson also told El Pams that he quit the Catholic Church because it has become too liberal and that, ‚ÄúGod is the only one who knows how many children we should have, and we should be ready to accept that.‚ÄĚ
(‚ÄúDios es el znico que sabe cuantos hijos debemos tener y debemos estar dispuestos a que vengan.‚ÄĚ)
‚ÄĒTranslation assistance: Eduardo Aparicio.