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The inevitable quote we have all been bracing for—in which a certain margarita-loving Malibu land baron harboring a mistrust of Jews and a sugar tit chip on his shoulder weighs in on recent events involving a former sitcom star's choice to silence chatty comedy club patrons by angrily sharing his historical knowledge of half-century-old, flatware-assisted lynching practices—has finally come. Not surprisingly, the quotee's heart goes out to the most recent victim stricken by the highly contagious outbreak of Celebrity Racist Tourette's Syndrome currently sweeping through Hollywood:

"I felt like sending Michael Richards a note," Gibson says in an interview in Entertainment Weekly's Dec. 8 issue. "I feel really badly for the guy. He was obviously in a state of stress. You don't need to be inebriated to be bent out of shape. But my heart went out to the guy."

The 50-year-old actor-director added: "They'll probably torture him for a while and then let him go. I like him." [...]

Are people refusing to work with him?

"No, people aren't like that," Gibson tells the magazine. "Those are just the headlines: Mel ostracized by Hollywood! Hollywood is what you make it. There is no great pooh-bah up there saying, 'Go! You are condemned!"'

Gibson's debunking of the myth that there is one unified consensus in Hollywood that could easily turn a beloved A-lister into a reviled pariah after something as inconsequential as a few stress-induced N-words should come as a great relief to Richards, whose long, dark week of tortured soul searching and reaching out to unreceptive community leaders might soon see a single ray of light in the form of a handwritten note, printed on Icon stationery and reading, "Dear Kramer: Of course you'll eat lunch in this town again. It's not like it's the Jews that are angry at you! Your pal always, Mel."