Downey put on his best compassionate voice; we knew what was going to happen and yet we still wanted to see it. These two men are terrific entertainers, after all. Downey began by talking about his own struggles with alcohol and drugs. Then he talked of Gibson’s role in his social rehabilitation.
"I couldn't get hired, and he cast me," Downey said. "He said if I accepted responsibility -- he called it hugging the cactus -- long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to expect the next guy would be him." This got a huge laugh.
Gosh, do you remember Downey’s substance issues? Ally McBeal had to shoot around him because he was in jail. He got caught doing drugs by himself in a hotel room, which angers the libertarian in me, to tell the truth. You should be allowed to abuse yourself in private. But he’s clean and serene now, and in wicked shape to boot. So it’s only natural that someone so flawed would seek redemption for a friend.
Mel came to the front of the stage, and the two men hugged. It made me glad, to be honest. None of us are perfect, and I hope that if I fall hard I will have the forgiveness of at least some of my friends and family.
Mel Gibson (and the plays on his name: Mad Mel. What fresh Mel is this?) got caught drunk driving, mouthing off to cops, and of course there were the ant-semitic remarks, and at long last his girlfriend and baby momma taped him screaming and ranting into the phone. He’s had a rough few years. So have his family, thanks to him.
If you think Mel shouldn’t be given a second chance because he’s an abusive and drunken bigot, that’s fine.
But you should consider it not for him, but for yourself. The criminal courts are full of checks and balances because an innocent man should never be convicted, and that the guilty can be rehabilitated. Otherwise, blame is a very wasteful exercise. When you’re getting angry at someone who did you wrong, remember that. It's easier to forgive. Constant anger is like a leaky faucet.
And should you ever monumentally screw up, then wouldn’t it be nice to know that forgiveness is possible? It doesn’t mean you have permission to commit bad acts, but maybe, just maybe, you can be forgiven.
Because Iron Man told us to forgive Mel.