Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Deconstructing Mel: Mel Gibson’s first apology was apparently enough for one Disney executive. Oren Aviv, head of the Disney film studio, told Slate: “I’ve worked with Mel on several films over the years and we have a great relationship. We all make mistakes and I’ve accepted his apology to what was a regrettable situation. I wish him the very best on his path to healing.”

And that was before Gibson’s second, by-the-numbers apology, specifically to the Jewish community, saying he was “in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from” and that he wants to “meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.”

It will be interesting to see how many people buy Gibson’s approach, which is pretty much public relations 101. Some in the media are clearly sophisticated enough to deconstruct Gibson’s strategy. The Boston Herald’s Beth Teitell, for example, offers a witty explanation of Gibson’s apology: “That’s the real Mel Gibson talking. The Mel Gibson authorized to speak for Mel Gibson, not the rogue Mel Gibson going around ruining Mel Gibson’s reputation. And now—how unfair is this?—the Hollywood powers are debating whether Mel Gibson has a future in Tinseltown. Which means Mel Gibson is as much a victim of Mel Gibson as are a female sergeant at the police station (‘sugar tits’ in Gibson’s parlance) and the Jewish people (the ones ‘responsible for all the wars in the world’).”

That’s the kind of cynicism we need more of.

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