I have to take a moment to commend the Walt Disney Co. for making the most of a bad situation.
Back in July, when Mel Gibson took a break from his busy duties as the "owner" of Malibu to spew anti-Semitic and sexist bile after being stopped for drunk driving, it looked like Disney had a category-five mess on its hands. The Disney-owned ABC quickly jettisoned the Holocaust-set miniseries that Gibson was developing. Would the company's Touchstone Pictures release the director's new film, Apocalypto, in December, as planned?
But where other's may have seen a liability, Disney saw opportunity. The company not only stood by Mel and his movie, it exacted a little reciprocity by getting him to sit down with ABC's Diane Sawyer for a two-part Good Morning America heal-in last week. (See how B&C handicapped Sawyer's odds in August: .) ABC even turned him into a punchline on its hit Ugly Betty, in which a character describes a looming scandal as "Mel Gibson bad."
And one of the featured advertisers on ABC.com's broadband video player? Mel Gibson's Apocalypto…in theaters December 8.
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.