Mel Gibson was courtside for the grand re-opening of New Pauley Pavilion on Friday Night, and received a not-so-warm welcome from the UCLA student section — delivering some passionate boo’s (not the main and/or side variety) during a cameo on the jumbotron.
Of all the certified Legends on hand for the debut of UCLA Basketball in New Pauley Pavilion, perhaps none was more legendary than the embattled Academy-Award winner — sittig courtside on the baseline behind the UCLA dance team, conveniently stationed right next to the visitor’s bench.
During a stoppage in play the Lethal Weapon(s) star was featured on the new HD jumbotrons hanging over center court, in a montage of notable attendees.
When Gibson appeared on the screen and a chorus of boos could be heard from the lower bowl UCLA student — which flanked Gibson to his right and directly behind him.
Gibson attended the game with one of his kids, and appeared a little nervous to be in the public spectrum, almost hidden in one of your nastier courtside seats (there is such a thing) — blocked by the baseline ref’s cheeks for most of the game.
Some would argue is a fair trade off for being close enough to touch/poke a UCLA cheerleaders cheeks.
During his extended cameo on the jumbotron, Gibson summoned some acting whilst getting boo’d up by the Bruin students, even acknowledging the haterade by looking into the camera and mouthing “they’re boo’ing me,” as a politely desperate attempt to get of the screen.
Getting boo’d is nothing new for Gibson, who has gained more notoriety as of late for some controversial incidents, including DUI’s, verbal disputes with his boo and some racist rants mixed in for good measure.
But the bottom line is that after witnessing Gibson in the building, my heart fluttered a little bit and whoever was in charge of picking who went up on screen should have given him a pass.