Gibson the Greek

As Lindsey Lohan’s mother weighs in to defend her party-hardy daughter against a very public tongue-lashing by the top executive on her latest fim, Hollywood is debating just how deep a hole wacko Mel Gibson has dug for himself with his DUI arrest over the weekend.

DUI arrest? Big deal. In today’s world, that kind of happenstance might actually elevate one’s standing on the celebrity-o-meter. (Think Kate Moss.)

No, it was the venemous anti-Semitic diatribe spewed by Mr. Gibson during his arrest that set off this latest firestorm. As one Hollywood go-to PR guy quipped to The AP:

“It’s a nuclear disaster for him,” said publicist Michael Levine, who has represented Michael Jackson and Charlton Heston, among others. “I don’t see how he can restore himself.”

Michael makes a valid point, but for a different time and place. Ten years ago, a heinous story like this would have put the death knell on any public personality’s career. Today, however, the fragmented, 24/7 media environment allows a supposed career-ending incident to disappear into a speeding car’s rear view mirror as fast as one can say Pee Wee Herman or Jimmy the Greek.

Also, let’s not forget the rising tide of anti-Semitism in this country and abroad. Mr. Gibson’s remarks will certainly gain traction with the nation’s growing amoral majority. As far as Hollywood, if the incendiary “Passion” didn’t derail his celebrity stature, who’s to say that this will.

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