Ranting, sexist Mel Gibson not “What Women Want”

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters Life!) – In 1985, Mel Gibson  was declared People magazine’s first ever “Sexiest Man Alive”.  Ten years ago, women flocked to see him in “What Women Want”  playing a chauvinistic executive who finds he can read the  female mind.

But in the last week, tape recordings apparently with the  Oscar-winning actor ranting and cursing his ex-girlfriend in  angry tirades that included racial and sexist slurs have  shocked and alienated his female fans, media watchers say.

Yet unlike public condemnation from movie industry big-wigs  over Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitic outburst in 2006, there has  been little official comment about his misogynist tirade — a  reflection, some say, of lack of female clout in Hollywood.

“It is shocking to hear from this man, who has such charm  and seeming intelligence in his film roles, but has emerged as  a dastardly anti-hero,” said HollywoodLife.com editor Bonnie  Fuller. “Guess what? Mel doesn’t know ‘what women want’.”

Celebrity website RadarOnline.com on Tuesday made public a  third expletive-laced phone call said to be between Gibson, 54,  and Oksana Grigorieva, 40, the mother of his eight month-old  daughter. The pair are locked in a bitter court battle.

Gibson’s representatives have declined to comment on the  tapes, nor have they denied the widespread reports that it is  the “Braveheart” actor talking. Los Angeles sheriffs have  launched a domestic violence probe into allegations that Gibson  punched Grigorieva in the face in January, breaking her tooth. In the tapes, the enraged voice said to be Gibson calls  Grigorieva a “whore,” a “mentally deprived idiot” and a “pig in  heat,” among many of comments that are laced with expletives.  He also takes racist jabs at Latinos and African-Americans.
Yet the media coverage and any public outrage have focused  more on the damage to Gibson’s career, and his racist slurs,  than his sexist invective.

While some industry watchers have said his career will  survive given his financial ability to fund his own projects —  as he did with his “The Passion of the Christ” — there seems  little doubt that many of the women who once admired Gibson  will now leave him behind.
“I’ve had a lot of people who are professionals in the  industry say to me that when you alienate women, they never  come back,” said Kim Masters, editor-at-large of trade  publication The Hollywood Reporter.

Joy Behar, one of the hosts of female TV chat show “The  View” said on Tuesday that Gibson was not welcome there because  he was an anti-Semite and a racist. Fellow “View” host, actress  Whoopi Goldberg, defended Gibson against charges of racism.

“Mel Gibson has become a persona non grata throughout  Hollywood. But not because of how he treats women,” said  Melissa Silverstein, who runs the Women & Hollywood blog.

“People should be talking about the anti-women stuff as  much as they talk about the racist stuff,” she said.

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