The Truth About Mel Gibson And Donald Trump

Oscar-winning filmmaker Mel Gibson has a history of making antisemitic and racist comments, but the "Lethal Weapon" star has avoided endorsing any specific presidential candidate. In an interview about the 2016 presidential race between Trump and Hillary Clinton, Gibson didn't appear to be a fan of either candidate. "The good news about this presidential campaign is that it will soon be over, of course, and the bad news is that one of the bad candidates will be elected," Gibson said. However, some of Gibson's less-than politically correct statements have earned him comparisons to Trump.

According to The Sun, Gibson made anti-semitic comments in 2006 after his arrest for a DUI. However, the British outlet reported that Gibson's habit of making offensive comments was hardly isolated. Winona Ryder had accused Gibson of making antisemitic and homophobic comments as far back as the 1990s; she told the Sunday Times about her experiences with the "Lethal Weapon" actor. "We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends," she said, "and Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we're all talking and he said to my friend, who's gay, 'Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?'" Ryder also said that he made antisemitic comments to her directly.

So what's the truth about Gibson and Trump? Keep reading to find out more.

Mel Gibson saluted Donald Trump in Las Vegas

Mel Gibson gave Donald Trump a military salute when the former president arrived at the UFC fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirer in Las Vegas on July 10. According to The Daily Beast, a TikTok video of Gibson's salute to Trump spread online and quickly made headlines. The crowd at the UFC fight welcomed the former president with both loud cheers and boos as he arrived. Conservative media outlet The Columbia Bugle tweeted a video of the moment, writing, "Yoooooo!!! Is that Mel Gibson saluting President Trump? #UFC264."

But Gibson's salute to Trump created a social media backlash about the actor's political views. In a 2020 interview with Fox News via (UK Independent), Gibson told the conservative news outlet that he wasn't an expert and didn't think he was qualified to make political judgments. But the actor revealed a little about his political leanings during the Fox News interview. "I am politically incorrect, that's true. Political correctness to me is just intellectual terrorism," Gibson said. "I find that really scary, and I won't be intimidated into changing my mind. Everyone isn't going to love you all the time." So even Gibson doesn't want to label his politics, his salute of Trump makes it seems like he shares at least some of Trump's views.

Aside from that, the two men have certain other qualities in common.

Mel Gibson loves a comeback

Despite his tumultuous past, Mel Gibson has somehow managed to stay afloat in Hollywood. After his disastrous 2006 arrest, during which he spewed a series of antisemitic slurs and theories, most people thought that the "Passion of the Christ" director wouldn't find work again anytime soon. Clearly, they were wrong.

Gibson has continued to find work even while being on the outs. In 2017 he was nominated for an Oscar for directing "Hacksaw Ridge" which was also nominated for best picture. By 2019, he was also in the process of selling two films at Cannes, one which also starred controversial actor Shia LaBeouf, per HuffPost. Similarly, critics and industry experts have been quick to point out how miraculous Gibson's comeback was. "Mel Gibson has proven to be the exception to the rule," Hollywood crisis manager Howard Bragman told Variety in 2020 of Netflix recasting Gibson in the "Chicken Run" sequel. However, he allowed that "if there's a new incident, people in Hollywood who've stood by him are going to have to re-think their association."

It turns out that a skill for reinvention, or at least avoiding consequences, is something Gibson has in common with former President Donald Trump.

Trump and Mel Gibson have something in common

The knack for a comeback is something that Donald Trump and Mel Gibson have in common. It might even be one of the things Gibson admires enough in the former president to stand and salute at an UFC fight.

Trump, of course, is the only president to have been impeached twice. Most in his situation would typically exit politics and focus on building their presidential library, writing a memoir, and booking high paying speaking engagements, but that's not the case with Trump. After a tumultuous 2020 election, which ultimately saw the sitting president defeated, Trump left office in January 2021 without attending his successor's inauguration. Shortly thereafter, he was permanently banned from Facebook and Twitter.

By June, though, he reappeared on the national stage, speaking at the North Carolina Republican Party's state convention. He also reportedly plans to speak at a number of other state republican conventions in rallies in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms. According to political insiders, Trump isn't engaging with the base out of any solidarity with the cause but rather because if it all goes well, he will be perfectly positioned for a 2024 presidential comeback. "If the president feels like he's in a good position, I think there's a good chance that he does [run again]," Trump adviser Jason Miller told NBC in June.

As we mentioned above, Gibson isn't big on talking politics, but if Trump does run again in 2024, it seems we've got a pretty good clue who he'd vote for.