Los Angeles, Oct. 13 (Reuters): “I’m ashamed that they came out of my mouth,” Mel Gibson said to interviewer Diane Sawyer of the anti-Semitic words he uttered during his July drunk-driving arrest in Malibu. “That’s not who I am.”
Making his first media appearance since the incident, Gibson appeared yesterday in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Gibson’s televised confession, following what he described as his “public humiliation on a global scale”, represented not only his first broadcast words on the subject but also a necessary step in clearing the air so that Disney can move forward with marketing plans for his new film, Apocalypto, scheduled for release on December 8.
Even before Gibson’s arrest, Apocalypto posed a tough challenge. Cast with unknowns, the viscerally graphic action movie is told in the Mayan language with subtitles.
Gibson, the star and director of movies such as Braveheart and The Patriot, had been expected to be the movie’s biggest selling point, but after all the attention paid to his Pacific Coast Highway outburst, separating Gibson’s personal baggage from his achievements as a filmmaker also became necessary before the $50 million epic could be released.
“The movie needs to be sold properly,” said Alan Nierob, Gibson’s press representative. “It couldn’t have been sold properly if he didn’t do this.”
Marketing executives are hoping that because the star has made public amends, they can shift the focus to the upcoming movie.