Ranting, sexist Mel Gibson not "What Women Want"

Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:23pm EDT
 
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In 1985, Mel Gibson was declared People magazine's first ever "Sexiest Man Alive". Ten years ago, women flocked to see him in "What Women Want" playing a chauvinistic executive who finds he can read the female mind.

But in the last week, tape recordings apparently with the Oscar-winning actor ranting and cursing his ex-girlfriend in angry tirades that included racial and sexist slurs have shocked and alienated his female fans, media watchers say.

Yet unlike public condemnation from movie industry big-wigs over Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic outburst in 2006, there has been little official comment about his misogynist tirade -- a reflection, some say, of lack of female clout in Hollywood.

"It is shocking to hear from this man, who has such charm and seeming intelligence in his film roles, but has emerged as a dastardly anti-hero," said HollywoodLife.com editor Bonnie Fuller. "Guess what? Mel doesn't know 'what women want'."

Celebrity website RadarOnline.com on Tuesday made public a third expletive-laced phone call said to be between Gibson, 54, and Oksana Grigorieva, 40, the mother of his eight month-old daughter. The pair are locked in a bitter court battle.

Gibson's representatives have declined to comment on the tapes, nor have they denied the widespread reports that it is the "Braveheart" actor talking. Los Angeles sheriffs have launched a domestic violence probe into allegations that Gibson punched Grigorieva in the face in January, breaking her tooth.

In the tapes, the enraged voice said to be Gibson calls Grigorieva a "whore," a "mentally deprived idiot" and a "pig in heat," among many of comments that are laced with expletives. He also takes racist jabs at Latinos and African-Americans.

Yet the media coverage and any public outrage have focused more on the damage to Gibson's career, and his racist slurs, than his sexist invective.   Continued...

 
<p>Actor Mel Gibson poses during a photocall for the film "Edge of Darkness" by director Martin Campbell in Paris, in this February 4, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files</p>