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Robert Downey Jr. Thanks Mel Gibson at SAG Awards

via Jimmy Kimmel
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Robert Downey Jr. thanked Mel Gibson in his acceptance speech at the 2024 SAG Awards for his role in Downey’s recovery from substance abuse issues.

Gibson helped revive Downey’s career in the 2000s after no one else would hire him due to his struggles.

“He taught me many things and I will use the ‘C’ word, courage. There’s nothing so much wrong with him. Of course, you have to worry about the guy making the judgment here. He’s a good dude with a good heart,” Downey said of Gibson.

“Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn’t get hired and he cast me.”

“He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it ‘hugging the cactus’ – long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy,” he said.

“But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him,” Downey said.

Gibson cast Downey in “The Singing Detective” and personally insured him on projects.

Downey has long credited Gibson for turning his life around.

However, Gibson remains a pariah in Hollywood due to anti-Semitic remarks made during a drunk driving incident in 2006.

While Gibson apologized, liberals continue to criticize any praise for him given his conservative politics.

Downey’s thanking of Gibson generated backlash, though Gibson’s intervention was crucial to Downey’s professional and personal turnaround over a decade prior.

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