Dear Gossips,

Yesterday I posted about the new Sherry Lansing biography and the story about Angelina Jolie while she was shooting Tomb Raider. The Hollywood Reporter is featuring several stories about Sherry Lansing in its new issue, including an interview with the former studio boss in which she defends Mel Gibson. This is the question/statement: 

You've been a big Mel Gibson supporter as well.

And her response:

“Very much. I loved Hacksaw Ridge. Mel is very hardworking, very much understands the problems of the studio system. I have only had positive experiences with him. In my experience, he has never been homophobic or anti-Semitic.”

So, basically, in her experience, as the former HEAD OF A MOVIE STUDIO, he’s always been nice. Which must mean he’s nice and, sure, not homophobic or anti-Semitic. For an alternative perspective, please click here to revisit a list of homophobic and racist and misogynist statements that Mel Gibson has made over the years. Also, remember, Mel Gibson’s film, Hacksaw Ridge, was nominated for several Oscars this year.

And now we come to Chris Brown’s appearance on black-ish last night. I’ve not seen the episode yet so I can’t comment specifically about how Chris was portrayed but, yes, as I mention practically on a weekly basis, black-ish is my favourite show. So of course, of course it’s a disappointment that he was on it. Of course I wish Kenya Barris had made a different decision. As Jenn M Jackson wrote at The Root last week:

To empower Brown with a guest-starring opportunity on such a prominent black show—which, mind you, employs black female activists who have repeatedly spoken out on issues that women of color face in entertainment—seems counterintuitive and disrespectful to viewers who hold the show in high esteem. No matter what the intention, this casting choice reeks of enabling. It provides a blank check for a clearly ill person to continue to inflict harm on himself and those around him. Meanwhile, it sends the message that virtually any behavior is easily forgiven when ratings are at stake….

And later in the piece:

But casting Brown is a step backward. It proves that misogynoir and violence against women have still not registered with many leaders of industry as deal breakers for their faves. It is up to viewers to take to task the casting directors and the responsible parties behind this choice.

Leaders of the industry. Like Kenya Barris. But, also, like Sherry Lansing and her successors. Like those who gave Casey Affleck a pass in the months leading up to the Oscars, not pressing him on the allegations of sexual harassment. Like those who keep investing in Johnny Depp. There’s a long list of people in Hollywood who continue to overlook – and consequently condone – the behaviour of problematic male artists. It’s a systemic problem, an institutionalised sickness. And it’s also a mirror to real life.

Yours in gossip,