The 25th American Cinematheque Awards recently honored Robert Downey Jr. for his "life work" in Beverly Hills. But instead of basking in his own glory, Downey wanted to use some of that time to encourage the world to forgive Mel Gibson -- for, you know, the alleged abuse, death threats, angry rants, etc. -- because he believes Mel is a good guy who deserves a second chance. After taking the stage, Downey recounted how Mel posted an insurance bond for him back when they were in Air America together because no other movie companies would back him when he wasn't sober. Downey also revealed, that during his dark days of addiction, the What Women Want star mentored him and always reminded him to find faith and accept responsibility for his actions. Apparently Mel called this, "hugging the cactus," so Downey poetically told the crowd that Mel had hugged the cactus long enough and it was time we all let bygones be bygones, and the place erupted in applause.
While some might find this to be a nice, sentimental moment, I find it a little distasteful. Mel did some pretty outlandish things in the past and while I agree that everyone is entitled to a second chance, I'm not sure this was the appropriate way to ask for it. Death threats are hard to forgive, even with a wave of Downey's Ironman hand. All the male bonding was touching and everything, but only Mel himself can prove he's a changed man and no celebrity pal of his can do it for him. Looks like you're hugging that cactus for just a little while longer, Mel.