Hey! What better way to cap off a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family than to invite an anti-Semitic drunk into your living room to show off his pictures of blood-soaked violence? That's what the good folks at ABC (brought to us by Disney!) are doing with a one-hour, prime time special dedicated to promoting Apocalypto, Mel Gibson's controversial new movie about the fall of Mayan civilization (we think tequila may have been involved).
While it's not exactly the Here's How I Killed My Wife special that Fox yanked from the Sweeps schedule earlier this week, the informercial does raise its ethical questions-- not because of Mel's drunken anti-Semitic screed-- but because it's hosted by newsgal Diane Sawyer, who this week is rumoured to be in line to host either ABC's flagship evening news show or Nightline. ABC says the show will also focus on Mel's "personal struggles and his primal fears" (that last one is easy: Jews--is there room at the table for Borat?).
And did you catch Mel on TV last night? With all of Disney's show-offy public handwringing about how hard it will be to sell Mel's movie-- which features no stars or English language dialogue-- with an anti-Semitic nutjob as the frontman-- it was a bit of shock last night to see an ad for Apocalypto during NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent, narrated by Mel Gibson, and featuring Mel on camera!
Did Disney's focus groups tell them something about the American audience they're not letting on? Or did they just check the latest box office for Borat?
(Mel Gibson will also star in a similar prime-time special on Univision a week later, and the night before Apocalypto hits theatres, he's scheduled as a guest on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, where he'll apologize again, look sheepish, act crazy, make us all feel better-- and carry on.)
You can find more Tabloid Baby TV pieces--featuring Michael Richards and more-- over at TVgasm.com.