Over the November 18 weekend Film Threat was all over the news for its Frigid 50 list. You may have seen the CNN story or read the AP piece. Mel Gibson was mentioned in each, and it seemed like all the stories were taking the list very seriously. I did not take part in this year’s festivities mainly due to time constraints and the fact that my column does this sort of thing almost every week, so it seemed a bit redundant. That didn’t stop family and friends from questioning me about it, however.

“”Why did you make fun of Gibson?” “”Why must you pick on someone when they are down?” “”You were on CNN. How does that feel?”

First of all, I didn’t make fun of Gibson on that list. I had done a column soon after his drunk rant was made public. I also was not “”on” CNN. The site I write for was mentioned. There’s a big difference. If I’m ever mentioned by name on CNN it will probably be followed by something like, “”… and he says he won’t be taken alive.” That’s my destiny. I accept it.

Some friends found the entire thing pretty funny. Far too many others were either offended or took it way too seriously. (One even told me that since the list came out, Gibson’s career was finished. We don’t have that much power here at Film Threat, though we did destroy Cuba Gooding, Jr. a few years ago.) I personally found their reactions far funnier than the list. I know Film Threat is considered one of the top five movie sites in the world, but this was a little too much.

One thing that Film Threat does, besides championing independent film far better than any other site, is really remind Hollywood of what doesn’t fucking matter. And one of those things is celebrity culture. In the grand scheme of things celebrity culture means absolutely nothing, though it is good for comic fodder and little else. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who forgot that celebrity means nothing. Celebrity is like lice. It’s annoying and hard to get rid of without the proper comb.

Film Threat has always stuck it to Hollywood in one way or another. This list is just another way of saying we care so much about film that we aren’t letting these idiots spoil it with their childish antics and self-indulgent mayhem. Of course, the big problem with doing that is that some people won’t get it and we’ll look like we’re bullies.

I’m here to say we aren’t bullies. We’re the gatekeepers of sanity.

We live in a world where there is a show called “”House of Carters.” We live in a world where Tom Cruise calls Matt Lauer “”glib” and takes a bride who is old enough to be his daughter, and we’re told we’re supposed to care. We live in a world where O.J. Simpson, an ex-football player/B-list movie star, who may or may not have killed his ex-wife and a waiter, claims innocence in said crimes yet tries to push a book where he surmises how he may have killed them. We live in a world where Sean Penn can play a mentally disabled man and win all kinds of accolades for it, but put a man in blackface and see how warmly that’s received. We live in a world where Russell Crowe can assault someone with a phone and then say that maybe our justice system blows things out of proportion — and makes this observation while telling us that we should see his movies since we’ll know they’ll be good simply because he stars in them. We live in a world where you can drive drunk and rage against the Jews, and it’s the racism and not the fact that Gibson could’ve killed someone that causes outrage. We live in a world where Paris Hilton is famous for being filmed having sex and carrying around a small dog (not at the same time). We live in a world where Lindsay Lohan is more well known than Ward Churchill. We live in a world where people actually pay attention to people pretending to be something called “”Fashion Police.”

And shouldn’t all of this be shot down like a meth addict storming the White House’s doors?

Yes, and that’s what we’re here for. I thank CNN and AP for helping get the word out.

And I pity the people who didn’t understand it, though Gibson is probably thanking you … as long as you aren’t Jewish.

Posted on December 6, 2006 in Blogs by

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  1. DonLewis on Wed, 6th Dec 2006 12:11 pm 

    We live in a world where Sean Penn can play a mentally disabled man and win all kinds of accolades for it, but put a man in blackface and see how warmly that’s received.


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  2. Felix Vasquez Jr. on Thu, 7th Dec 2006 12:01 am 

    I second Don’s “Huh?”

    Great article, but I have no idea what that paragraph means.

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  3. Rory L. Aronsky on Thu, 7th Dec 2006 1:23 pm 

    He means in the context of today’s culture. Back in the 1930s, it was ok for Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland to don blackface for a musical number as well as other white actors and even one or two black actors, if I’m not mistaken, which I may be.

    It was accepted back then, but today, try it and the NAACP and all other organizations working for the betterment of race relations will be screaming all kinds of murder.

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  4. Felix Vasquez Jr. on Thu, 7th Dec 2006 4:15 pm 

    But how do you compare that with playing a mentally disabled person? How are they even the same?

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  5. Michael Ferraro on Tue, 12th Dec 2006 10:18 am 

    Maybe he means that people only play mentally challenged folk to win awards. “I Am Sam” was fucking awful, but at least he got a nommie out of it.

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  6. Felix Vasquez Jr. on Tue, 12th Dec 2006 10:36 am 

    I’m quite foggy on that aspect.

    It sounds like he was saying people get offended when actors don black faces, but not when they pretend to play mental defects, which, if true, is pretty skewed logic.

    But yes, “I Am Sam” was quite bad.

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