Robert Downey Jr. Basically Saved Mel Gibson From Cancel Culture 13 Years Ago

Robert Downey Jr. Basically Saved Mel Gibson From Cancel Culture 13 Years Ago
Image credit: Legion-Media

The actor is sadly no stranger to the cancel culture.


  • Robert Downey Jr. is one of Hollywood’s top actors at the moment, but his reputation in the industry hasn’t always been that perfect.
  • As the actor got into a series of scandals in the 1990s concerning his drug addiction and imprisonment, he had to fight hard to get his career back — and then even helped his friend and colleague to do the same.
  • Downey Jr. took advantage of his presence at the 2011 American Cinematheque Awards to appeal to the audience asking them to forgive his friend’s mistakes.

Right now Robert Downey Jr. may be one of Hollywood’s favorites, especially after his triumphant win at the latest awards season with his role in Christopher Nolan ’s Oppenheimer, but back in the day things were quite different.

As the actor struggled with addiction and crime charges in the 1990s and then devoted all his efforts to win his career back, he knows how little time it takes to be deprived of everything — and that’s why helped his famous colleague to avoid the same fate.

During Downey Jr.’s most recent interview with Esquire, one incident that happened to the actor’s friend Mel Gibson resurfaced. In 2006, the latter got into serious trouble when, being drunk, he debased the Jewish community — according to Gibson, back then, sitting in the police car, he suddenly realized that his career could potentially be over at this point.

As Mel Gibson revealed later on, at that time he and Robert Downey Jr. were exchanging their positions in Hollywood and while Gibson was down and got to be a victim of cancel culture, as we would put it nowadays, Downey Jr., in his turn, was at the peak of his career.

In 2011 Robert Downey Jr. brought Mel Gibson with him to the American Cinematheque Awards — and even though the latter at first didn’t quite understand why the former would do that, what happened next explained everything.

After coming up on stage, Robert Downey Jr., who happens to be Jewish himself, publicly asked the audience to forgive his friend’s mistake and harsh words addressed to the Jewish community.

Robert Downey Jr. Basically Saved Mel Gibson From Cancel Culture 13 Years Ago - image 1

As the actor later put it, he would love Mel Gibson to receive the same kind of second chance that once was granted to Downey Jr. himself adding that Gibson should be allowed to “continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame”.

The touching gesture towards a mistaken friend then was followed by an unhinged — and iconic — message to those who were “completely without sin, in which case you picked the wrong f***ing industry”.

As everyone at this point may have already guessed, since 2011 Mel Gibson has been quite present in Hollywood even getting an Oscar nomination for Best Director for his film Hacksaw Ridge back in 2016.

Just like his loyal friend Robert Downey Jr., Gibson keeps working on successful projects after being given another lucky chance to do so.

Source: Esquire