Opinion Brief

Mel Gibson vs. 'The Hangover 2'

The troubled actor is reportedly "furious" that the producers of "The Hangover 2" have cut his role — after featuring Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist, in the first film

Late last week, Warner Bros. and director Todd Phillips confirmed that Mel Gibson would no longer be making a cameo in The Hangover 2 because some members of the cast and crew (comedian Zach Galifianakis reportedly led the charge) objected to working with the actor, who's embroiled in a domestic violence scandal. Some observers considered The Hangover 2 Gibson's best shot at a comeback, and the actor is reportedly "furious" at the decision, especially given that Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist, made an appearance in the first Hangover flick without major controversy. Is Gibson facing a double-standard? (Watch an E! News report about Gibson's snub)

This is blatant hypocrisy: "This doesn't pass the smell test," says Matt Zoller Seitz at Salon. Considering the Tyson precedent, The Hangover crew's opposition to Gibson seems like another example of Hollywood's "selective outrage." Why do similarly scandal-scarred celebs like Tyson and Alec Baldwin get a second chance? "I don't care how horrendously [actors behave] behind closed doors. Knowing what swine they are informs but does not veto my appreciation of their work.""The Hangover 2's Mel Gibson hypocrisy"

Perhaps, but the allegations that Gibson is facing are still fresh: Tyson made his cameo 17 years after his rape conviction and after having served three years in jail, says Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. "Gibson, on the other hand, seems to be a case where the jury — if not literally — is still out" and the "sordid 'leaked tapes' drama still feels too fresh" to be a suitable source for tragedy-turned-into-ironic-comedy."The Hangover problem: Mike Tyson, okay; Mel Gibson, not okay?"

Mel is a victim of the times: Here's some "food for thought," says Jeff Sneider at The Wrap. What role did the media play in all this? "If the New York Post hadn't spoiled Gibson's cameo and all the blogs (including this one) hadn't rushed to confirm and pick up the story, would Gibson still be leaving the project, or would the cast and crew's objections have been handled internally?""Mel Gibson's Hangover 2 cameo canceled over controversy"

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