Despite the prominent presence of Mel goddamn Gibson, Daddy’s Home 2 did great box office this weekend. Behold, the thoroughness of justice in the court of public opinion!
Yes, The Hollywood Reporter today declares, “Box Office: With ‘Daddy’s Home 2,’ Mel Gibson Is Once Again Family-Friendly.” The piece reports:
Daddy’s Home 2 boasts the second-best opening of the year to date for a comedy after Girls Trip($31.7 million). Families turned out in force to see the PG-13 romp, making up 37 percent of the audience. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reprise their roles as dueling dads in the holiday-themed sequel, which introduces Gibson and John Lithgow as their fathers. The first Daddy’s Home debuted to $38 million, but had the advantage of opening over Christmas weekend.
This despite the high-profile stories about Mel Gibson behaving like an absolute horror show: the 2006 arrest report that detailed sexist and appallingly anti-Semitic remarks from the star, and the audio recordings (leaked in 2010) of conversations with his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, which were a disgusting stew of racist and abusive. In one of those tapes, he says: “You go out in public and it’s a fucking embarrassment to me. You look like a fucking bitch in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it’ll be your fault. All right? Because you provoked it.” (Gibson claims the recordings were edited.) In a 2016 appearance on the Variety podcast Playback, he sounded defensive more than anything:
“It was an unfortunate incident,” Gibson said on “Playback” when asked about the fact that there are many who feel they can no longer support him or his work. “I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
Daddy’s home, indeed.