From Arizona's controversial immigration law to Mel Gibson's recorded rants, I've heard a lot about boycotts lately—and I can't get over who's encouraging them. For me, boycotts conjure up my childhood, when trips to K-mart were rare because of dubious dealings, and the Waldenbooks chain was shunned entirely for selling pornography. Those are just the boycotts I remember, but they always seemed religious in nature.
So it was strange to learn at Salon about a movement under way within Hollywood to boycott Gibson's work over newly released taped "conversations" with his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva (don't believe his rants were bad? Read the transcripts—then decide if you want to hear the recordings). Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams makes no reference to a particular moral or philosophical viewpoint as a context for her piece, but she nonetheless plunges into the moral and aesthetic quandary of shunning Gibson films altogether, musing that he might be "too talented" to boycott. ...1