Mel Gibson has been cast in the lead role of the new John Wick spinoff series The Continental, and fans are not pleased. Gibson has been credibly accused of abusive behavior to his colleagues many times over the decades and has suffered long droughts of work because of it. Seeing such a big and beloved franchise invite Gibson back into the spolight has some fans feeling furious.
The Continental will be a miniseries on Starz and will be a prequel to the John Wick films themselves. According to a report by Deadline, Gibson was cast as a character named Cormac back in October. We don't know anything about Gibson's character or just yet, but whether he's a hero or a villain, fans are not excited to see him on screen. The Continental will be a three-night special TV event meant to give fans background on the mysterious assassin-friendly hotel, but critics of Gibson's outspoken racism, antiSemitism, misogyny and workplace behavior may not be tuning in, they say.
Gibson may well be playing some kind of villain in the series — the show is reportedly about the character Winston Scott taking control of the hotel and overcoming an opposing force of assassins. Winston is played by Ian McShane in the movies, but as this show will be set in the 1970s, he is likely to be played by a younger actor this time. Many fans speculate that Gibson's character will be the previous hotel manager whom Winston overcomes here.
Still, making Gibson a villain would not absolve the studio for casting him after all of his violent behavior, racism, antisemitism and misogyny over the years. Many commenters are taking this as a case study in the true effects of "cancel culture," and as a signal from the entertainment industry itself. Here's what John Wick fans have to say about Gibson's role in The Continental.
You’ve got a billion dollar action franchise starring one of America’s most beloved actors in Keanu Reeves, what do you do next with the IP?
If your answer was attach it to a prequel series at Starz featuring notorious antisemite, homophobe, and abuser Mel Gibson, come on down. https://t.co/5l7Ih58cMK— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) October 18, 2021
The movies are lead by someone who is reported as being one of the nicest and most wholesome people ever.— Sylvester S. Poulsen (@PoulsenS) October 18, 2021
For the series they choose Mel Gibson...
First up, many commenters noted the stark contrast between Gibson's reputation and that of Reeves. They questioned the wisdom of not only casting directors but publicity agents for allowing this change of pace.prevnext
"If you get raped by a pack of n******, it will be your fault,"
- Mel Gibson to his partner— raf (@rafaelshimunov) October 18, 2021
"I'll put you in a fucking rose garden you cunt,"
"You need a fucking bat in the side of the head,"
"You're a fucking whore. Now, I own you."
- Mel Gibson to his partner in recording— raf (@rafaelshimunov) October 18, 2021
One of Mel Gibson's extremely abusive calls to his partner. pic.twitter.com/dumLbsoqZH— raf (@rafaelshimunov) October 19, 2021
Gibson's scandals are so numerous and spread out across so many decades that many people had trouble remembering the most egregious among them. Many users set to work posting accounts of Gibson's threats and alleged acts of violence, as well as his many racist, antisemitic and misogynistic quotes.prevnext
Exactly. A domestic abuser & antisemite doesn’t deserve a redemption arc. He deserves to be a pariah for the rest of his miserable, bigoted, life.— LBeamPdx Dont Be A Maskhole (@beaminthecity) October 18, 2021
Mel Gibson is still getting acting gigs but Colin Kaepernick can’t get a job in the NFL?
Can the right please stop whining about cancel culture? Seems they are the effective ones at cancelling people.— Chase (@SPatrickChase) October 19, 2021
Many commenters used Gibson's casting to rebuke the concept of "cancel culture" itself. They said that if reputational damage alone could not keep Gibson from being cast in major productions, then there was no valid complaint to be made on the subject.prevnext
You don't make spectacles of apologies when you really mean them. https://t.co/U4Xc9nSUW6— Jorge Rivera (@Wildfang135) October 19, 2021
Meanwhile, some said that even people with Gibson's history could theoretically redeem themselves, but argued that Gibson has not done so. Again, there were articles, videos and quotes to show his various public apologies, which were widely deemed insincere.prevnext
well if there’s one thing we know Mel Gibson does believe in it’s the existence of a shadowy cabal https://t.co/QN2wveUJ8v— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) October 18, 2021
In the age of political disinformation, many people felt that Gibson was more at home than ever given his history of alluding to antisemitic conspiracy theories. Some even joked that this would somehow impact the John Wick franchise, which is based entirely around the idea of a secret, murderous fraternity.prevnext
This thread made my stomach turn. The fact that Mel Gibson can get a pass on this behavior in Hollywood speaks volumes on how decision makers really feel about marginalized communities. https://t.co/Lo5ElQxmp7— Nina Parker (@MzGossipGirl) October 19, 2021
CW: Thread for all the awful abuse, antisemitism, racism, sexism and homophibia Mel Gibson has done (publicly).October 19, 2021
Commenters said that, by casting Gibson, the studios involved in The Continental were sending an unambiguous message to the marginalized communities that Gibson has attacked which said that they are not worth considering. Others did their best to petition the studios to recast Gibson before it's too late — if it's not already.prevnext
Ah crap, I was actually looking forward to this https://t.co/QozXb1R4RW— Greg-Gory Pall Thrillber aka SILBER BULLETS🐺🎃 (@GregSilber) October 18, 2021
Finally, there were plenty of comments from fans who were simply disappointed in the news, and either planned not to watch The Continental or anticipated enjoying it less than before. There is no release date for the series in place yet.prev