The Mel Gibson-directed “Hacksaw Ridge” debuts Friday, following arguably a successful press cycle of redemption for the controversial star. Most notably, Stephen Colbert invited Gibson to be on “The Late Show” earlier this week. The two made a viral video together and Gibson kind-of-sort-of expressed remorse for the things he did and said in his younger days.
“Not my proudest moment, Stephen,” Gibson told the late-night host, presumably referring to his anti-Semitic comment to a police officer who pulled him over for suspected drunken driving in 2006. Gibson told the officer, “F**king Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” He could’ve also been referencing a racist rant from 2010 in which he told a woman, now infamously, “You look like a f**king pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault.”
Gibson continued to tell Colbert on the show, “But, you know, 10 years go by, I worked a lot on myself, I’m actually happier and healthier than I’ve been in a long time.”
To Colbert’s credit, the host pushed Gibson to have a more straightforward and clear-cut apology, but Gibson instead dodged all attempts to say sorry. Despite the entertainment industry welcoming him back into legitimacy over the last month with glowing reviews and puff-piece articles about his new beard, Gibson has yet to have a clear moment of remorse during this press tour. That’s always been his style, though.
Before the 2010 rant that derailed his career, Gibson had already created a long wake of controversies, often making racist, homophobic and sexist statements while being interviewed.
In retrospect, perhaps the definitive Gibson interview is the actor’s 1995 Playboy profile, which occurred during the time he was in postproduction for “Braveheart.” HuffPost secured a copy of the story from the Playboy archive.
In the piece, Playboy reporter Lawrence Grobel claims he got over eights hours of conversation time with Gibson, spanning multiple days. Grobel proceeds to publish long quotes from Gibson that essentially let the actor die by his own words.
When he’s not talking about fist fights he got in, a dog he illegally ate and stapling his sister’s head, or making light of a drunk-driving incident when he rear-ended a car, Gibson at least admits that he has a “self-destructive tendency” and can’t seem to keep his mouth shut. Of course, that’s abundantly clear when the actor ― about to make a significant career jump with “Braveheart” ― talks in length about why women are inherently untrustworthy and how the United States presidential election is rigged by an illuminati-type organization.
Gibson doesn’t seem like the kind of person who has regrets, but with his redemption movie coming out, he probably still would rather you didn’t reread the quotes below.
Gibson explains why men and women are not equal.
[Q] Playboy: What about allowing women to be priests?
[A] Gibson: No.
[Q] Playboy: Why not?
[A] Gibson: I’ll get kicked around for saying it, but men and women are just different. They’re not equal. The same way that you and I are not equal.
[Q] Playboy: That’s true. You have more money.
[A] Gibson: You might be more intelligent, or you might have a bigger dick. Whatever it is, nobody’s equal. And men and women are not equal. I have tremendous respect for women. I love them. I don’t know why they want to step down. Women in my family are the center of things. All good things emanate from them. The guys usually mess up.
[Q] Playboy: That’s quite a generalization.
[A] Gibson: Women are just different. Their sensibilities are different.
The Playboy interviewer presses for a specific example and Gibson calls a former business partner a “cunt.”
[Q] Playboy: Any examples?
[A] Gibson: I had a female business partner once. Didn’t work.
[Q] Playboy: Why not?
[A] Gibson: She was a cunt.
[Q] Playboy: And the feminists dare to put you down!
[A] Gibson: Feminists don’t like me, and I don’t like them. I don’t get their point. I don’t know why feminists have it out for me, but that’s their problem, not mine.
[Q] Playboy: What did you so dislike about your former business partner?
[A] Gibson: She was more vicious than any guy in business I’ve ever seen. She thought she needed to overcompensate for the fact that she was a woman. Which is just bullshit. It’s like unbelievable ferocity and unreasonableness. Then, when you got to her reason, she’d pull the woman thing on you. She wasn’t fair. They don’t play fair.
Gibson implies women are inherently out to “hurt” men, telling a joke that involves Hillary Clinton.
[Q] Playboy: All women, or just this woman?
[A] Gibson: It happens a lot. They’re not coming from the same place at all. There are certain things men will never understand about them. We’ll never get it. And you’re supposed to be nice to them. Because they can hurt you. It’s like that joke about the guy who bedded three women: Lorena Bobbitt, Tonya Harding and Hillary Clinton. He woke up with no penis, his kneecaps bashed in and no health insurance.
Referring to Bill Clinton, Gibson expresses his belief that all elections are rigged by a shadowy organization.
[Q] Playboy: How do you feel about Bill Clinton?
[A] Gibson: The guy who’s in charge isn’t going to be the front man, ever. If I were going to be calling the shots I wouldn’t make an appearance. Would you? You’d end up losing your head. It happens all the time. All those monarchs. If he’s the leader, he’s getting shafted. What’s keeping him in there? Why would you stay for that kind of abuse? Except that he has to stay for some reason. He was meant to be the president 30 years ago, if you ask me.
[Q] Playboy: He was just 18 then.
[A] Gibson: Somebody knew than that he would be president now.
[Q] Playboy: You really believe that?
[A] Gibson: I really believe that. He was a Rhodes scholar, right? Just like Bob Hawke. Do you know what a Rhodes scholar is? Cecil Rhodes established the Rhodes scholarship for those young men and women who want to strive for a new world order. Have you heard that before? George Bush? CIA? Really, it’s Marxism, but it just doesn’t want to call itself that. Karl had the right idea, but he was too forward about saying what it was. Get power but don’t admit to it. Do it by stealth. There’s a whole trend of Rhodes scholars who will be politicians around the world.
Gibson continues to talk about how he believes in a conspiracy theory about presidential assassinations.
[Q] Playboy: This certainly sounds like a paranoid sense of world history. You must be quite an assassination buff.
[A] Gibson: Oh, fuck. A lot of those guys pulled a boner. There’s something to do with the Federal Reserve that Lincoln did, Kennedy did and Reagan tried. I can’t remember what it was, my dad told me about it. Everyone who did this particular thing that would have fixed the economy got undone. Anyway, I’ll end up dead if I keep talking shit.
What other conspiracy theory does Gibson believe in? That evolution is a lie.
[Q] Playboy: Do you believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution or that God created man in his image?
[A] Gibson: The latter.
[Q] Playboy: So you can’t accept that we descended from monkeys and apes?
[A] Gibson: No, I think it’s bullshit. If it isn’t, why are they still around? How come apes aren’t people yet? It’s a nice theory, but I can’t swallow it. There’s a big credibility gap. The carbon dating thing that tells you how long something’s been around, how accurate is that, really? I’ve got one of Darwin’s books at home and some of that stuff is pretty damn funny. Some of his stuff is true, like that the giraffe has a long neck so it can reach the leaves. But I just don’t think you can swallow the whole piece.
The Playboy reporter pushes Gibson on accusations that he’s a homophobe and misogynist. Gibson says he’s not and claims he just thinks some “modes of behavior [are] unnatural.”
[Q] Playboy: You can use it on your critics, who have called you, among other things, homophobic, misogynistic―
[A] Gibson: Racist, bigoted, all sorts of things.
[Q] Playboy: Are you any of those things?
[A] Gibson: No, I’m not. I’m really not. I think if you suggest that you find some modes of behavior unnatural, then you become all those things. And you get vilified. It’s like having people holding signs and trying to spit on you.
Gibson is baffled by the fact that people think he’s offensive and reiterates that he’ll apologize “when hell freezes over.”
[Q] Playboy: Outside Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood?
[A] Gibson: Yeah, that’s when I found out I was a misogynist, a bigot, a racist, a neo-Nazi and a homophobe. They had signs, they were screaming and frothing at the mouth, pure hatred. It was wild. People just looking for attention.
[Q] Playboy: That was a gay protest, right?
[A] Gibson: Yeah, totally whipped up from nowhere. I got up to the microphone to say something and it was, like, jeers. I decided to go up and look at the people to see who they were and why they were so angry.
[Q] Playboy: Do you know why they were angry with you?
[A] Gibson: It was over something I said five years ago in a Spanish interview, which was taken the wrong way. I don’t want to go into it again because it’s like igniting a fucking spark. I just don’t want it―I don’t want anyone writing to me or coming to my house. I don’t want any of that shit. Suffice it to say that I’ve been chased by automobiles doing dangerous things on the freeway. I’m not even comfortable with you printing this because there are certain organizations that like to breathe down my neck. I don’t give a fuck what they do so long as they keep it to themselves.
[Q] Playboy: But what did you say that so pissed them off?
[A] Gibson: Whatever it was I said, they found it offensive. The next day I was doing an interview on national television and was asked, “So, are you going to apologize? You’ve offended the community.” I said, “I’m not apologizing to anyone. I’ll apologize when hell freezes over. They can fuck off.” Then the war started. It’s made me totally paranoid. I’ve got to learn to keep my mouth shut.
Gibson says he wants to kill the writer of a negative, unauthorized biography about him and expresses his frustration with people who compare him to Hitler.
Gibson: I don’t think God will put him in my path. He deserves death. He attacked me at an elemental level. He attacked my wife, my family, my father, my whole being. He’s lucky he’s still walking. He’s getting to you in the most underhanded, nasty way, threatening everything you have, everything you are, saying that you’re a worthless piece of shit. And that the people who gave birth to you are scumbags and really nasty people. And everyone you’ve ever met or touched you trampled on and fucked over. And that you’re weird and warped and it’s like you are fucking Hitler. I’m Hitler and my dad is Mussolini!
But in 1995, Gibson moved on from his anger issues and doesn’t lose his temper anymore, at least according to him.
[Q] Playboy: The director of Maverick and Lethal Weapon, Richard Donner, has said that you have a lot of anger and hostility and that underneath, you’re a tough son of a bitch.
[A] Gibson: I don’t know. I get pretty dark sometimes, pretty bleak. But that passes. I rarely lose my temper anymore.
[Q] Playboy: Which means you have lost it in the past.
[A] Gibson: You’ve got to get it out. I used to just hang on to it and then some little thing would set it off, which was stupid. You behave like an asshole when you lose it, and you feel like an asshole afterward. It’s not healthy.
In conclusion, this quote seems like his life’s thesis ― a statement that is particularly relevant just days away from the 2016 election. Here, Gibson brags that people still flock to his movies despite everything he says and does:
[A] Gibson: No. I got whacked around for smoking, fighting, not following their stupid rules. I had a rough time. I’m not much of a conformist. I was known for being a bit of a clown. I remember my dad got me aside and said, “Just remember, everybody likes a clown, but nobody pays him.” I’ve often been tempted to call him and say, “Remember how you told me . . .?” “Yeah?” “Yes, they do.”