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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Perspective

What’s a Mel Gibson fan to do when the star acts badly?

What do you do when the star reportedly makes obnoxious comments about Jews?

THE EVIDENCE OF MY EMBARRASSING SECRET lies at the bottom of the old stereo cabinet in the family room: DVDs of Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2, and The Patriot. Yes, I admit it: I love Mel Gibson movies. My infatuation with his acting — OK, and also with his oh-so-blue eyes — began when I saw The Year of Living Dangerously three decades ago. Since then I’ve paid to see 20 of his movies, so I am a fan. But I am also a Jew. And with Gibson back in the news for reportedly making obnoxious comments about Jews, I’ve been struggling to decide what to do.

This kind of dilemma isn’t new, but sometimes the answer is obvious. In late April, an African-American player on the Washington Capitals scored the goal that knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs. Within minutes, a number of angry fans posted racist comments to Twitter. Should other fans stop wearing their Bruins jerseys for fear of guilt by association? Of course not — they don’t represent Boston or the team.

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