October 28, 2010 9 Comments
I’m sure many have already heard about this bit of news, but I wanted to get my two cents in on the subject anyway. So, in a rather brilliant casting move, Mel Gibson was set to make a cameo appearance as a Bangok tattoo artist in the much anticipated Hangover II. When I first heard about this, I thought it was ideal casting and a perfect move on two fronts: (1) it would help to bring Mel back in the public eye in a positive way and (2) it would just be downright hilarious…a much funnier cameo than Mike Tyson, would you not agree? OK, a third non-related front would be that I am really anxious to see The Beaver (directed by Jodie Foster and starring Gibson) and this would help to bring that to the screens in quicker fashion.
But last week, Warner Brothers — a studio that Gibson has helped make a gazillion dollars for — dropped the controversial star from the project. Why??? Apparently a number of the film’s stars objected to the casting of Mel and were “in deep protest” (to use Zach Galifianakis’ words) about the decision. They have since replaced him with Liam Neeson — a much safer bit of casting, but not nearly as funny for a comedy that is supposed to give off the no-holds barred kind of vibe.
This decision is a joke and a shame. Galifianakis is the only one who has thus far publicly voiced his personal protest of Mel’s presence in the movie (without naming names), saying he was “up in arms” about a certain movie he was working on. Very brave of you, Zach…if you’re going to call someone out, be a man and call that person out. Don’t hide behind ambiguity. What upsets me further is this absurd “Holier Than Thou,” self-righteous attitude that these stars (and select crew members) have taken…in Hollywood of all places!!! The irony of it all reeks of hypocrisy.
Mike Tyson wasn’t bothered at all. In fact, of everyone involved, Tyson said it perfectly — “I’m not going to ever in my life point my finger at anyone. I don’t live in a glass house. None of us do.” Amen, champ. What has the Oscar-winning Gibson done for other celebs in their hour of crisis and need? What did he do with Brittany Spears and Robert Downey, Jr., among others? The man went out of his way to reach out and help these troubled stars when no one else seemingly would. It is a disgrace that in his time of need, these Hangover stars (including Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) cannot find it in themselves to do the same. And let’s face it — The Hangover made these guys. Sure they were working, but this movie made them huge. I’d love to see just one of them showcase the talent remotely close to Gibson’s as a polished actor and/or an extraordinary filmmaker. Perhaps the virtuous Mr. Galifianakis will surprise us all by doing something minutely different from everything else he has done to date, which is, let’s face it, the same character over and over and over again. But I won’t hold my breath.
I hope these stars never say the wrong thing, never make a bad decision that goes public or never do anything considered to be remotely immoral. Because by having Mel axed from this soon-to-be blockbuster film, they are saying that they are too good and too upstanding for those who have made bad mistakes and poor choices. Again, I am in no way condoning Mel’s recent behavior, but who do these guys think they are? This protest — that eventually led to the firing of one of their brethren — stinks of pretense and insincerity.