October 17th, 2011
10:04 AM ET
You can add Robert Downey Jr. to the list of celebs who are standing by embattled actor Mel Gibson.
Downey turned his acceptance speech at Friday's American Cinematheque Award ceremony into an opportunity to ask those in the industry to extend some forgiveness toward Gibson, according to The Wrap.
After Gibson handed Downey his award, the "Iron Man" star encouraged the audience "to forgive my friend his trespasses. Allow him to pursue his art without shame."
Gibson's history at this point is arguably larger than the actor himself. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge earlier this year, and has been accused of anti-Semitic comments and other racist remarks. When word spread that he was taking on the story of Judah Maccabee, it drew healthy criticism.
But, Downey told the audience gathered at the awards event, "Unless you are without sin - and if you are, you are in the wrong f--g industry - you should forgive him and let him work," reports Us Weekly.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Downey, who starred with Gibson in 1990's "Air America," didn't stop there.
"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 a cactus - long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy....[Gibson's] hugged the cactus long enough."
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