Mel Gibson wants to donate funds to help Costa Rica's indigenous population and is currently there working with President Oscar Arias to make it happen. He is so personally invested in Costa Rica that he also bought a house on its Pacific coast.
I find this action to be reassuring. He's taking the piles of money he made off of exploiting their history and using it to help them build a future. (gag...did I just write that?!?). I'm sure it's because he's read this post wherein I suggested he ought to try to the boost local economies of the places he exploits, kind of like the Survivor people do.
So, what can we learn from all this sincerity and reciprocity demonstrated by Gibson and Mayer? People can change, but only if faced with public humilation. Mayer couldn't possibly sing "Waiting for the World to Change" at an event that is literally trying to change the world. Gibson is doing pennance for the flack he caught for Apocalypto. In both cases, I believe that these guys were blithely engaging in a creative activity without intending to do damage, but they never seemed to stop, consider and ask themselves, "What kind of damage will this piece of artistic expression do?" They neglected Rule Number 1: Do no harm.
I may have seemed cavalier in the past over my particular distaste for Mel Gibson. I don't think I've adequately explained why I'm so against him, but I want you to know, it is not random. The reason I took him on is because, for the most part, the movies he's appeared in and directed since Lethal Weapon are misanthropic. He specializes in capturing physical pain on the screen to a ridiculous degree. To me, that communicates something, i.e. he likes seeing people in pain, therefore he must not like people very much. To revel in people's pain to the extent that Mel Gibson has done is sick and evil, in my opinion.
If I were to judge his movies objectively, I could say that they are expertly crafted, evocative, and convey the struggles of individual men during their time throughout history. But art is never viewed in a vaccum and all art has a price: the emotions it exacts at the viewing of it. I believe that artists have a responsibility for the consequences of their art, especially any damage done. What kind of artist depicts hundreds of anatomically correct death scenes? One with a real contempt for humanity, I say, and that harms us all.