I’m not exactly on his Christmas Card List but I know Dean Richards. I’ve been interviewed by him a few times on WGN TV and radio where, to my eternal gratitude, he treated me fairly, even kindly. We’ve talked about Super Bowl commercials and new movies and new forums where advertisers place their messages and each time, he was prepared, on point and informed. In short, I think he’s a good guy: a fair critic and a straight shooter.
Of course now, the public at large can weigh in–even the public far beyond the massive audience reached by WGN, the “Super Station.” Because Tuesday, Dean interviewed Mel Gibson and instead of just tossing up meaningless softball questions, he had the temerity to ask Gibson whether his hugely publicized outbursts of anti-Semitism, misogyny and drunkenness might effect the reception of his new movie. Mel didn’t take that line of questioning very kindly. Watch the clip here.
I once liked Mel Gibson–in fact, I liked him a lot. I saw all three Road Warrior movies on the big screen, starting with Mad Max way back in 1979 at the 120 seat Derry Theater in Hershey, PA. He seemed cool and funny and full of piss and vinegar. As he mugged his mullet through the seemingly endless Lethal Weapon series, his bug-eyed, masochistic intensity act had started wearing dangerously thin. By the time he was revelling in the disembowelment of William Wallace, I had moved on. I missed his whole Jesus act and the subsequent Apocalypto ‘I don’t act in English’ period.
Unfortunately, I did catch the “Sugartits” and “F’ing Jew” comments that went along with one of his Malibu DUI’s. And that felt unconscionably ugly. Still, as Mel contends in his comments to Dean, that was over four years ago. Given the intensity of the trailer for Edge of Darkness, I was almost over my hesitation and ready to plop down my ten bucks.
But not anymore. The guy’s just a jerk. And now Dean is caught up in his freakshow, because everyone seems to be watching this clip. That’s the thing about viral videos-they’re like car wrecks you can summon up any time of the day when the mood hits. And Dean’s now part of the latest Mel Gibson car wreck. What a bummer.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79