Sunday, December 17, 2006

How low can you go...

...and still find work in Hollywood? Jerry Stahl asks this question, in reference to -- of course -- Mel Gibson.

Well, the answer is: it depends on the work you do, how you get it, and the degree of offense. My understanding is that Mel Gibson finances his own movies, so "getting work" isn't the issue. And his latest, Apocalypto, has been widely praised. Should Hollywood (as in, critics and the media) "boycott" his latest film because Mel betrayed himself as a bigot? Do consumers have a moral duty to refrain from purchasing products and services from racists, liars, and cheats? That's a high standard.

In this case, however, the moral failing was painfully public. But does it negate the fact that his new film is a quality piece of art? And would boycotting it betray the art, or the artist?

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