Was Zach Galifianakis Behind Axing Mel Gibson's 'Hangover 2' Cameo?

On Tuesday, we told you that Mel Gibson would be appearing in the sequel to the 2009 comedy sensation The Hangover. We questioned whether the world was ready to laugh at Gibson, with the memory of his threats against girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva and racist insults still fresh in our minds. Turns out that a few people involved with the movie didn't think the idea was so funny, either. On Thursday, Hangover 2 director Todd Phillips announced that Gibson's cameo had been axed.

"I thought Mel would have been great in the movie," Phillips said. "But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew."

According to Phillips, the studio supported the decision to cast Gibson. So who convinced him to can the controversial actor? Fans are speculating that it was The Hangover's breakout star, Zach Galifianakis, who objected. The actor and comedian appeared on a popular comedy podcast last week, and spoke in veiled terms about an issue he was having with (presumably) the Hangover 2 filmmakers.

"I'm in a deep protest right now with a movie I'm working on, up in arms about something," said Galifianakis, after explaining that he sometimes turns down roles on moral grounds. "But I can't get the guys to (listen) ... I'm not making any leeway... It's very frustrating."

Galifianakis may have been talking about something else entirely; we imagine that The Hangover 2 has its fair share of questionable humor. However, if he did object to using Gibson as a punchline, it sounds like he wasn't the only one. Reportedly, cast members Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms also voiced their objections. (Interestingly, commentators have pointed out that Mike Tyson, who was accused of rape, appeared in the first Hangover).

Gibson's rejection from The Hangover 2 brings back the question of whether he can ever have a Hollywood career again. One film is hanging in the balance: Jodie Foster's provocative comedy The Beaver, starring Gibson as a businessman who has a nervous breakdown and starts talking through a puppet. The movie was shot in 2009, but its release date was postponed indefinitely. It's one thing if no one will work with Gibson on a new film -- but is he such a pariah that no one will touch a movie that he already made?

What do you think about reports that The Hangover 2 cast didn't want to work with Mel Gibson? Chime in below!

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