Outrage Rises Over John Gibson Remarks on Heath Ledger

John Gibson’s disgusting remarks about Heath Ledger, which I posted about last night, have reverberated through the media. I’ve made a clip of a segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in which Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist discuss the remarks.

Scarborough asks, “Is he laughing that Heath Ledger died because he made a movie about two gay men? Is that why this young father dying was a punchline to John Gibson?”

When Geist replies, “Of course it is. That’s the implication,” Scarborough replies, “So if you make a movie — this is now, it’s not that if you are gay, your death is a punchline. If you make a movie about being gay, your death becomes a punchline. I don’t know who syndicates this guy, but that is absolutely stunning, that John Gibson would be that mean-spirited and hateful.”

Last night, Gibson defended his “little Brokeback Mountain joke,” saying he’s lived off that “I wish I knew how to quit you” comment for months, saying “I’m not giving that up.”

Listen to Gibson’s new comments on Think Progress.

GLAAD has sent out an alert, urging people to contact the network and voice their disgust with Gibson.

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann last night gave Gibson his “world’s worst person” award (below).

Comments

  1. Sebastian says

    Good they should FIRE this cruel, insensitve JERK. I called 3 times to complain, and, sent emails as well that joking about the death of Mr Ledger, or anyone else is uncalled for.

    Every reader on this site should do it as well, put these nasty, vile, homophobes in thier place, and Fox Noise on notice, the gay bashing has to stop.

  2. Emmy says

    He doesn’t have to give up his precious “I can’t quit you” line. He just needs to sit and home and say it to himself. He and his piehole should lose access to television. And that particular network should suffer where it hurts – lack of viewers and ad money.

  3. Wes says

    I’m glad people are talking about this. It was so outrageous. You know, I think its always sort of expected when a gay person is mocked by bigots when they die. But I really think many naive straight people out there might not realize the extent of anti-gay bigotry until moments like this. When simply playing the role of a gay man gets you constant ridicule even in death. Actors play sociopaths, serial killers, drug dealers, etc. But play gay and watch these self-righteous bigots piss on your legacy even on the very day you pass away.

  4. Marco says

    Being a Republican means never having to say you’re sorry.

    About this. About a war. About anything.

  5. secretagentman says

    Thing is, I think what he said was just as horrible as what Don Imus said. I would hope the rest of the media would jump on this story as they did that one, ending with his ass being fired.

  6. DCN says

    It’s far worse than what Imus said, and on par with the revolting racist remarks he’s made on-air in the past. Gibson is a true piece of shit and it’s nothing short of mind-boggling that he was ever allowed to appear before a television camera.

  7. says

    Hit these bastards in the only place that makes a difference: boycott their advertisers.

    Murdoch’s tabloid rag The Sun ran a story about the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989 (where 96 people died), saying that Liverpool fans had picked the pockets of the dead. That disaster had been a shock to the entire city and sales of the paper went down to zero. Many newsagents today still refuse to stock it even after the scumbag editor (the same one who was successfully sued by Elton John) was forced to apologise by Murdoch.

    Boycott the bastards; it’s the only way.

  8. David says

    I am sort of obsessed with Mika.

    You can sense her obvious displeasure over the incident (clearly) and I harken back to when she went ape shit about the Paris Hilton story. I wish there were more journalists like her.

  9. ZEKE says

    Am I the only one who finds this:

    Scarborough replies, “So if you make a movie — this is now, IT’S NOT THAT IF YOU ARE GAY, your death is a punchline. If you make a movie about being gay, your death becomes a punchline.” [EMPHASIS mine]

    every bit as offensive as Gibson’s comment?

    Scarborough acts as if it might be acceptable if Heath actually were gay but it’s absolutely out of line to make such a comment about a straight person who JUST PLAYED GAY in a movie.

    Scarborough is an ass who doesn’t have a whole lot of room to pontificate on Gibson’s homophobia. Even in his outrage the lace of his homophobic “slip” shows.

  10. DC Guy says

    It’s taken longer than I would like, but I’m glad MSNBC has finally figured out how to take a moral high ground and offer an ethical counterpoint to Fox News.

    Yes, I’m biased, but I’m glad to see these pathetic bigots finally called out.

  11. the queen says

    well my darlngs, I’ve just sent off e-mails to everyone on the glaad list. thanks andy for bringing this to our attention.

  12. says

    This hateful demagogue, this carrion feeder, protects American freedom on decency by spitting on a young mans corpse?

    Because he once played a gay man in a movie? That’s all Gibson needs to know? Will Gibson picket Ledger’s funeral alongside Fred Phelps?

    I’ve emailed and called Fox News. I could shout myself hoarse at the bloated, pasty, entitled fuckwits they seem produce on a conveyor belt there.

    But seriously, this is a tipping point.

  13. DC Guy says

    In addition to emailing Fox News, contact the FCC and file an indecency complaint:

    http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgb/fcc475B.cfm

    The only thing that makes this difficult is that complaints are only considered valid if you live in the listening area where the indecencies were broadcast. Checking the Fox Radio site, it seems that Mr. Gibson’s syndication is not all that far-reaching.

  14. Vi Agara says

    Think about it. Liberal take: Its ok to hate a gay man, spit on his corpse. But a man, a father, with a possible addiction problem. You hate him just because he played a gay man in movie. Unconscionable. Fuck you you brain dead libtards as well as you right wing Nazi evangelinut fucks.

  15. Huss says

    I also sent emails to everyone on the Fox List. I contacted other websites and blogs to see if they would post the statement from glaad.

    The more we can get this out in the mainstream media, the better. I’m hoping this will be picked up. I sent emails off to the entertainment shows as well. Et, Access, so on and so forth.

    Gibson also has a show on Fox News Channel. It is on from 5-6PM. I have it on now to see if he makes any comments.

  16. Wes says

    Nobody said it was okay to hate a gay man or “spit on his corpse”. They were pointing out the fact that he wasn’t gay simply because its just that much more outrageous. The guy isn’t even gay, he just PLAYED gay, and is still a victim of homophobia. Think about it.

  17. RB says

    We all agree that this is horrible, but we are preaching to the choir unless we tell it to Fox News, their advertisers and John Gibson himself! You have to send them an email and tell them directly. We all agree here, so posting your comments here alone will not help. Go out and tell someone that you are outraged! Blow their email boxes up with complaints and do not let up until they react. We can roll over and take or we can take action! To those that have already done so, THANK YOU! I sent my email to Fox and Gibson this morning:

    As an avid Fox News viewer and gay man, I was deeply offended by John Gibson’s radio show comments concerning the death of Heath Ledger! I found his “attempt” at humor to be not only not humorous, but in very poor taste as well. How can you allow this man to continue without a public apology at the very least. I am certain that it would not be heart felt and be forced, but it would be the responsible thing to do. By allowing John Gibson the opportunity to say such things without consequence you lend credence and credibility to organizations such as the westboro baptist church and their leader, Fred Phelps in their mission to spread hate to the American people. Shame on John Gibson for sinking to such a low level!

    myword@foxnews.com

    john.gibson@foxnews.com

  18. Nikk says

    Ok, step back people. You act as if someone had besmirched the memory of George Washingon or someone else important. This was the star of “10 Things I Hate About You” and a grossly overrated Brokeback movie. Take him off his high horse for a second.

    If you actually listen to the full context of the comments, not really all that bad. Are all those countless Brokeback jokes now taboo because dear St. Heath couldnt figure out how many abien to take? Give me a break. There were tasteless obscene Anna Nicole jokes everybody joked about just days after she died. But i guess she should have played a mumbling lesibain cowgirl in a boring movie to get your outrage.

    The point is, focus your ‘outrage’ on topics that are a little more worthy of your time..rather than get worked up about some cable show pundit making bad jokes.

  19. Josh says

    Thinking about the story, I wonder, is it time for us to really stand up hard against these kinds of things and try to make it as unacceptable to mock gays and those who support gays as it disparage other minority groups? Or would that be a mistake? Some people seem to believe that’s it’s better to handle things in a more patient, non-confrontational manner. I just wonder what the best way to push back against stuff like this is.

  20. Vi Agara says

    But it OK Wes. You need to remember that. It is ok to hate men who love other men. That is a given. In this segment, it is inherent. The scientific proven fact is though is that the majority of men and women are attracted sexually to their own gender. Society needs to puke up this poison from the churches, cough up the green phlegm of this mental disease from the media and get mankind well and loving each other again, as nature intended.

  21. says

    Nikk, your concern-trolling is showing.

    And Gibson’s statement that he’s sorry if he offended anyone is the classic non-apology apology: he sorry the listener/reader/viewer has hurt feelings, he’s not sorry that he said it.

    Write to Fox News and write to all sponsors and advertisers letting them know you won’t use their products since their money promotes Gibson’s message.

  22. gabriel says

    Nikk –
    I didn’t think it was funny when people mocked Anna Nicole’s death, and I don’t think it is funny to mock this guys death.

    And you know – when Ann Coulter, Fred Phelps or any other disgusting person dies, I won’t mock their death either.

    It is wrong.

    It isn’t because he played a gay role that I think it is wrong, it is simply because it is wrong.

    The point I made on the other post, and the same one that I’ll make now — I don’t think this would be getting the media attention it is getting had Heath been gay. I appreciate MSNBC for calling them out on this, and I am a huge fan of the station, but I’m not buying their intentions here.

    I’d venture to guess they wouldn’t say he was a father struggling with a substance abuse problem had he been gay. I’m sure they would say he was a drug addict.

  23. says

    Josh, in answer to your thoughtful question, I’m from Ireland and here’s what I’ve learned from all my years growing up there: you get as much freedom as you take. You don’t wait for your rights to be given to you: you insist.

    Nikk, Leger starred in an internationally groundbreaking film that addressed the issue of homophobia head on. In Gibson’s show he was mocked and pilloried for that very reason before he had even been buried.

    Gay people honor Ledgers achievement and are rightly appalled by the vicious bigoted catcalls of John Gibson and the empathy deficient ghouls who share his hateful views.

    If you can’t understand that then you haven’t given the issue more than a cursory glance. But then, that’s obvious from your post.

  24. Michael Bedwell says

    Nikk, knowing how hard you work at being a flaming rectum, I suppose I’m just feeding your ego to respond, but as laws prevent me from shooting people like you, I’ll just try to shoot down your nonsense.

    Can’t speak for everyone, but the essense of my outrage and repulsion over the shit coming out of Gibson’s own mouth is less about Ledger and more the attack it actually is on gays. He didn’t mock Ledger for “10 Things” or any of his other films.
    Similarly, the comments of Don I’m A Retard were less about the women’s basketball team than racism [“nappy-headed”] and racist-sexism [“hos”].

    As for Josh’s question, “I just wonder what the best way to push back against stuff like this is,” the answer, because we cannot muster the numbers necessary to make a significant financial impact, is determined, noisy, repeated, public confrontation of the kind that the women’s rights, black civil rights, early gay movement, and AIDS/ACT UP movement used.

    Depending on the location, 30-40 determined people, willing to risk arrest [judges usually dismiss charges or let the demonstrators off with a modest fine] by, e.g., blocking the entrance to Gibson’s studio, or his sponsors’ offices, and elsewhere. Done often enough, disruptive enough, magnified by media coverage calling attention to his slimy, shameless bigotry and he’s likely to knock it off. Not because it would change his mind or heart but because he doesn’t want the public and media peers starting to think of him as a bigot and because other people working in the building or wherever will put pressure on him to do something to end their own inconvenience.

    It won’t happen, because not enough gay men have balls anymore. But that’s what would work.

  25. Nikk says

    For the record, i am not condoning Gibsons comments, i am simply trying to give you some perspective from the hysteria. The man had been making Brokeback jokes for months (as had just about every late night comic out there) so why should we be so shocked when he continues.

    I think everybody just loves to play the victim. Oh my delacate sensabilites are bruised because this big bad cable tv man made a bad joke about a heroin addict insominac actor that overdosed on sleeping pills. Take notice of me, i am upset. Is this really what passes for an issue these days? What i am trying to say is there are bigger issues to email your presidential candidates about than this.

    And give me a break about how ‘groundbreaking’ Brokeback was. YAWAN. “mumble mumble mumble”- Heath Ledger

  26. NIKK says

    and another thing…

    calling the comments by Gibson ‘an attack on gays’ is connecting some distant dots. In full context, he was mocking a ‘weirdo’ (his words) actor who at one time played a gay role but was in no way gay or really had anything much to say on the issue of the gays. So quit making him (Heath) to be the patron saint he wasnt.

  27. Josh says

    NIKK, Gibson hasn’t only been making Brokeback jokes, the guy had been saying hateful things about the movie and gays in general for a long time:

    “I had one prominent writer say he wouldn’t come on my radio show because I made hate encouraging speech when I said I couldn’t figure out which was going to be harder to watch: the guys smooching in “Brokeback” or Bob Baer getting his fingernails ripped out in “Syriana.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,180499,00.html

  28. says

    This isn’t about Heath Ledger, it’s about US.

    Gibson is using Heath Ledger’s corpse as a prop to attack us — and to make a bizarre post-mortem attack on Ledger for making a film supportive of us.

    Gibson’s a ghoul.

  29. Marco says

    Nikk, I see your point, I really do, but I can keep two things and plenty more on my plate and get things done. One of those things is to tell John Gibson what a fucking tool bag he is.

    I know a guy who was actually friends with Heath years ago in LA. Obviously not the closest of friends, but knew him enough to contact his manager to find out where to send his condolences. He is pretty pissed off about Gibson’s comments. Should I tell him it’s no big thing?

  30. Rafael says

    Nikk if you cannot see the relation, and the very reason why this idiot started to make sickening jokes like he have, then you are probably high yourself.

  31. MCnNYC says

    Nikki–
    YOU IGNORANT SLUT.
    Jokes “can” be funny until a line is crossed. Yeah you, Gibson and Fred Phelps are hysterically funny cause this actor played a gay role to worldwide acclaim you think it is funny to debase this human being?
    Man your ovaries must be as dried up as your sense of humor you
    AND this is it. And hello who the hell is the heroin additct you are talking about you scum sucking TROLL.
    GOD I’m F#@King Hilarious!

  32. angrycitizen says

    hey niKKK, fuck you, now go hide under your bed or something.

    The gay community has got to stand up for itself and fight back against these denizens of the night. It is NOT okay to mock a man in death because he played a gay role, in a movie that was/is ground breaking and received dozens of awards and was cheated out of the big prize, the Oscar because of homophobia. It is time to take back our country from the right wing harlots of the republican party and the religious right.

  33. says

    Nikk, the issue is not “playing the victim” or fomenting “hysteria”, but rather the pervasive presence of bigotry among those who appear in the mass media. Fred Phelps and his pulpit of hate are also symptomatic of how much ignorance still exists in our supposedly advanced society.

    As for there being “bigger issues” to e-mail the Presidential candidates about, I disagree. Bigotry destabilizes us, erodes our values and defiles our spirit. Our leaders must renounce hate speech whenever and wherever it occurs. When hatemongers like Gibson and Phelps are permitted to continue their slurs, we all pay.

  34. come on says

    I think we are getting carried away here. Who cares what this dreg thinks? By giving it all this attention and demanding he be ostracized we are at the same time ignoring the real issue and allowing to perpetrate and another one: that is, Heath Ledger was killed by a legal dosage of chemicals in pharmaceutical / otc drugs which will be confirmed by the toxicology report and will then be covered up by interested parties who feed us these distractions of Gibson and overdose and suicide to keep us from addressing the real issue, and the implications that it could have on the disease industry in our society; and our first amendment rights served to our government on a platter. Has it really become the norm now that you can be publicly ostracized for what you SAY? This country is becoming more Orwellian every day, and strangely indeed everyone seems just fine with that. We are kept blinded, dumb, and distracted by soma and trivia such as this.(How else could someone like Mike Huckabee even have 1 vote at all?) What is the real issue? Pharmaceutical drugs are soma designed to kill us and keep us under control til the day we die? The media is conditioning us to eagerly forfeit our first amendment rights? Our forefathers made this amendment first for a REASON. All this attention is making him $$$$ right now– the media corporations have no intent to fire him, the $$$ is comin’ in thanks to you folks!
    It’s the drama and the soma.
    Lay off the prescription drugs, sheeple, and reclaim your peoplehood.

    (Or maybe I just need to get the fuck out of Michigan!!)

  35. patrick nyc says

    Hey guys, ignore NIKK,it’s clear he is an asshole and he just wants the attention. Plus it takes away from the issue, Gibson.

    While I admit that Fox emails may be a waste of time the Democrats running for President are not. Lets make them make it an issue to fire that prick.

    Hillary:http://www.hillaryclinton.com/help/contact/
    703-469-2008
    Obama:http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/contact/
    866-675-2008
    Edwards:http://www.johnedwards.com/about/contact/form/
    (919) 636-3131

  36. says

    Yeah Nikk, those Stonewall raids weren’t so bad really, and the police were only doing their job, right?

    Every time someone rolls over for a bully, the bully wins.

  37. Jimmyboyo says

    I support the boycoting of Fox

    I think Gibson should be driven off the air.

    Contacting our 3 dem candidates???

    Yes! contact them but on Hillary and Obama getting back to Washington DC and standing with Dodd’s and Russ Feingold’s filibuster of the telecom immunity bill.

    All but 1 telecom rolled over and allowed bush/ cheney to spy on americans without warrents. Reid is bending over backwards to allow bush / cheney’s wanted immunity from prosecution for the offending telecoms. DODD and Feingold are trying to filibuster the immunity bill. Hillary and Obama should both stand up for freedom, the rule of law, and the constitution by standing with Dodd’s and Feingold’s filibuster.

    BOYCOTT FOX!
    Demand advertisers pull out of supporting Gibson

    BUT contact Hillary and Obama on the telecom imunity bill instead of this.

  38. Rafael says

    At last I agree in something with JM. My only reservation is in regards to how involved our democratic candidates are to get in this. Lets remember Senator Feingold from WI, was the one who wanted to impeach and then censure Bush for his lies. I do share Senator Feingold’s convictions and I was rooting for him when there was talk he could be a presidential candidate back in the day. I just think the candidates support or involvement in this issue could turn off middle of the road conservatives who could otherwise lend their support to whoever the democratic candidate ends up being. Otherwise I think it is important to take notice of the issue and I thank JM for bring in it up.

  39. NIKK says

    you guessed it, i am only after attention. Put me in the quarantine list with everyone else who doesnt march in lock step with you.

    Gibson also said Ledger killed himself because he had a lot invested in the market…i guess all day traders should be offended, and up in arms. He said, he was dispondant because he is an Edwards guy and Edwards is out of it….i guess all ambulance chasers should be pulling their hair out in rage! Oh the humanity. All this is is a conservative pundit making comments about an arguably kooky actor who died of an overdose.

    Again, dont bestow sainthood where it is not deserved or connect dots that are not there.

  40. John says

    As usual, the psychopaths who lack of empathy for other human beings will make comments about how the dead “deserved” to die. Today, they mock Heath Ledger. Tomorrow, they’ll mock some gay dude who got his skull beaten in with a baseball bat.

    “Well, he was wearing a pink shirt. How dare he!”

    “It wasn’t that big a loss, the guy was ugly and unemployed!”

    Same old story for this blog. How sad.

  41. gay as life says

    Zeke – I don’t think Scarborough meant it the way you imply, though of course I don’t know what his private thoughts are.

    I took it that Scarborough was marveling over the sheer level of homophobia on display. It’s not the kind of thing the general public sees every day. I don’t think he was in any way saying that this behavior would be OK if Ledger in fact had been gay.

  42. Wheezy says

    I never watch Fox News and I doubt I ever will. Nor will I be patronizing the companies whose advertising dollars support it. I don’t think I’ll be watching anything on any Fox channel anymore, or giving money to their supporters.

    As for Mr. Ledger, his death saddens me because of his age and potential and for the sake of his friends and family. Not because he was a celebrity. As for his cause of death, the verdict is still out, the coroner’s report is not complete. So far the only thing for sure is he possessed legal drugs (and the prescriptions for them) and a bad case of pneumonia. Wait until all the facts are known until you condemn the man as a drug addict or suicide.

  43. gay as life says

    Nikk – Gibson was mocking the death of a human being. That is the problem in a nutshell. You might be able to brush it off, but you also might not be thinking of how this kind of behavior debases humanity.

    Whatever you might think of Heath Ledger, Gibson went far overboard in his attempt at humor. I am a big fan of gallows humor, and South Park’s treatment of deceased celebrities makes me laugh even as I cringe. But what Gibson displayed was simply inhuman and unfeeling on every level, and was not an attempt at satire, but instead more like tripping a blind man and then mocking and taunting him when he’s down. Callous. Cynical. And a far cry from what it means to be Human.

  44. Hex says

    John Gibson posted the following on http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,325371,00.html

    I have received comments regarding remarks I made on my radio show the other night after the shocking death of Heath Ledger.

    I’m sorry that some gay groups and others took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive.

    I’m aware that Ledger has a family and many fans, who were grief-stricken by his sudden death. As I speak, a crowd is gathering at the funeral home where Ledger’s services will be held.

    Those who knew him say he was a good actor and a loving dad and what happened to him was terrible, but was evidently an accident.

    Once again, to anyone offended by my comments, I’m sorry. But I’m also sorry that Heath Ledger is no longer alive and with us.

    And that is My Word.

  45. Hex says

    John Gibson posted the following on http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,325371,00.html

    I have received comments regarding remarks I made on my radio show the other night after the shocking death of Heath Ledger.

    I’m sorry that some gay groups and others took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive.

    I’m aware that Ledger has a family and many fans, who were grief-stricken by his sudden death. As I speak, a crowd is gathering at the funeral home where Ledger’s services will be held.

    Those who knew him say he was a good actor and a loving dad and what happened to him was terrible, but was evidently an accident.

    Once again, to anyone offended by my comments, I’m sorry. But I’m also sorry that Heath Ledger is no longer alive and with us.

    And that is My Word.

  46. nic says

    please, oh please, guys. do not confuse ME with NIKK. i’m assuming that the guy who comments here as NICK would also shudder at the thought.

  47. Josh says

    Nikk, Gibson’s comments have drawn ire from people all across the net for various reasons. I don’t think it should be that surprising that the homophobic part of it is going to hit people at more of a gut level around here.

  48. says

    As a straight female I can tell you that these sort of comments infuriate me to no end. It’s the 21st century and yet we’ve made little progress when it comes to respect, compassion, and humanity. Allowing Gibson to continue making tasteless and hurtful remarks hinders what little progress we have made.

  49. says

    As a straight female I can tell you that these sort of comments infuriate me to no end. It’s the 21st century and yet we’ve made little progress when it comes to respect, compassion, and humanity. Allowing Gibson to continue making tasteless and hurtful remarks hinders what little progress we have made.

  50. Denise Robbins says

    This is outrageous. Heath Ledger did a great job in playing the most difficult part of any actors career. Broke back mountain was awesome and a great story. I will miss Heath and I am so sorry for his family who loves him.

  51. romariga says

    Who is this John Gibson (hideous looking creature anyway) to trivialize the death of a young actor with ‘i hate Brokeback Mountain’ jokes? That mummy-like creature works for Fox, isn’t this fact enough to know what they stand for? what they hate and ridicule?

  52. romariga says

    Who is this John Gibson (hideous looking creature anyway) to trivialize the death of a young actor with ‘i hate Brokeback Mountain’ jokes? That mummy-like creature works for Fox, isn’t this fact enough to know what they stand for? what they hate and ridicule?