The 'Hangover' problem: Mike Tyson, okay; Mel Gibson, not okay?

gibson-tysonImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos; PRN/PR PhotosBy now, you’ve no doubt heard all about the dust-up over Mel Gibson‘s planned cameo being yanked from The Hangover 2. First it was announced that Gibson — whose career has been unquestionably challenged by tabloid headlines stemming from his nasty split from Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his 1-year-old daughter, and the subsequent leak of irate and threatening phone messages he allegedly left her — would have a cameo in Todd Phillips’ comedy sequel. Then it was revealed that after objections from some members of the film’s cast and crew, Gibson had been dropped from the film. Now, the latest beat in the story is that Zach Galifianakis may have been one of the folks ticked off by the Gibson casting stunt (reps for both Gibson and Galifianakis declined comment). All of this is juicy stuff, no doubt.

But one question many are left asking is why it was okay for convicted rapist Mike Tyson to appear in the first Hangover, but not okay for Gibson to turn up in the sequel? Were Tyson’s crimes any more acceptable than the unsavory claims Gibson faces? Are professional athletes simply held to a different standard of conduct than Hollywood stars? Or was Gibson’s return simply too soon? In other words, is this just another case of the old Woody Allen Crimes and Misdemeanors maxim “Comedy is tragedy plus time”? Is there a double standard going on here?

When Tyson showed up in the first Hangover, it was 17 years after he’d been convicted of raping a beauty pageant contestant in 1992. He’d already served three years in jail. Tyson had even returned to the ring and been cheered on by forgiving Iron Mike fans despite the fact that he no longer had the physique or the will to box. When The Hangover came out, there was no public or critical outcry over Tyson’s acting in the film because, apparently, the public felt he had paid his dues. (Although I’m not sure enough dues can be paid for the crime he was convicted of.) Either way, we’d come to expect the worst from the man who once bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, and he seemed to have been forgiven. So even if some folks couldn’t get behind the man personally, most people seemed willing to overlook Tyson’s transgressions in the context of the bachelor-party-gone-amok storyline. After all, hey, it’s just a joke!

Gibson, on the other hand, seems to be a case where the jury — if not literally — is still out. The whole sordid “leaked tapes” drama still feels too fresh to turn tragedy into ironic comedy. And even though Gibson hasn’t been charged with a crime, the perception today is that what he’s been accused of is beyond the pale. Who knows how moviegoers — or his future costars — will feel a few years down the road. But at this point in time, it appears that Gibson is serving some kind of sentence in Hollywood purgatory. One of Hollywood’s most bankable stars ever is seen as unemployable. How long will it last? How long should it last? Six months? A year? Until The Hangover 3? In the meantime, Liam Neeson is in talks to fill Gibson’s vacated role, but we’re sure a certain heavyweight champ in Vegas could keep his calendar open just in case…

More Hangover:
Liam Neeson in talks for ‘Hangover 2′
Did Zach Galifianakis kill Mel Gibson’s cameo in ‘Hangover 2’?

Mel Gibson’s ‘Hangover 2′ cameo axed

Owen Gleiberman: Mel Gibson and the tale of the tape
Mel Gibson not heading to ‘Mad Men’


Comments (203 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 7
  • jodipo

    you know, i doesn’t “feel”to fresh, it IS too fresh. Mel Gibson is still under investigation for all of this. I promise you if Mike Tyson was on trial for rape while filming there would be objections.

    • Mole

      I’m curious Fake Larry, what do you do for a living? You seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands.

    • Miss Talk

      *I just wrote this in the former Hangover post, sorry* : IMO, the most disturbing part is Mel Gibson willing to do a cameo…I mean, he IS Mel Gibson, FGS!
      How desperate could he be to “beg for a cameo” in a successful but (let’s say it) B-list sequel? He’s clearly looking for a way to redeem his reputation, and that’s really sad, considering he’s (or was?) Hollywood Royalty.
      I’m glad they cut him out. I loved the 1st Hangover and I don’t want my three besties and the toodaloo guy to be bugged by the Oksanagate.**
      EW, don’t let people forget Mike Tyson a.k. woman-puncher regain sympathy from the audience after the tragic death of his daughter. He even stated that The succes of the Hangover saved him during those hard times. Therefore I think that in the same vein, Liam Neeson might benefit from the sequel.


      It is simple, it is OK to abuse a women, but you can not speak out against a Jewish person.

    • Joe

      Emm bangkok is in Thailand not China retard. But in response to the article, what tyson did was in the heat of the moment in a fight, and that was a very long time ago. What Mel did was clearly a sign of insanity, and given Oksana clearly premeditatedly recorded the messages who knows what she was like to Mel, could all be a show on her part. I think it would have been great for Mel to play a part in this movie, it would definitely help him transition back into a movie career.
      If you start analyzing everyone in the show business as to whether or not they should be in the biz you’ll get lost. Everyone has demons and bad histories. Hell, even that director who molested the girl 20 years ago is still making movies.

    • Diane

      Its not that I don’t want to see him on the screen for what he has been accused of (he’s still innocent so far), it is the crap that comes out of his mouth that has gotten him in trouble with the puplic so far. Give us credit for not being as judgemental as he is before he has been found guilty by a court.

    • TinkerBell

      OMG, THANK YOU! WTH does Mike Tyson’s 20 yr old conviction have to do with anything? That’s like saying because TIM “tool man” ALLEN is a 3 time convicted drug dealing felon he should never have been given a chance to appear on TV or play Santa Clause on the big screen! What does a persons past wrongs that they have PAID FOR have to do with today’s events? Mentioning Tyson is just a way to divert attention away from the fact that MEL GIBSON is and has been violent verbally and physically toward women and men who he deems beneath him! I’m glad they sent him packing! They would have done me and you!

    • sydley07

      wow you’re everywhere…you REALLY have self esteem issues don’t you…


      People can say what they want, People will always like Mike. He is a very honest person and approachable. He has overcome countless adversities. He’s been honest about his mental illness, his beatdown of women, and I never ever believed he raped Desiree Washington. I think he got a Kobe (A WOMAN SCORNED WHIPLASH) — Ms. Washington thought she would become Ms. Tyson, then realized she was a booty call.

      A lot of people used Mike, stole his money and were never friends.
      Also, Mike is hilarious. We believe in redemption, but Mel continuously trashes Jes, Blacks, Gays, Women, and anyone in his path. I feel for him, but he surely can understand why no one wants to work with him for the time being (we know about Hollywood Amnesia..LOL).

      It would make no sense putting Mel in any movie right now. Maybe in 10 years he can do an Indie Film with blacks and Jews to redeem himself.

    • Michelle

      IRENE – MT is a boxer, and his “offenses” are farther in the past. Mel likes to hold himself above the rest of us, building a church of his own saying he couldn’t find one strict enough for his own beliefs. THIS is the man who drives drunk, calls people racial names, and is, at the very LEAST verbally abusive to his “baby mama” (a woman good enough to carry his child but not marry – so much for him following his Catholic faith so strictly. When you judge others, you tend to be judged.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Meh I don’t like either men at this moment in time. I used to support Gibson and I would probably still see a film of his if it looked halfway decent. Sadly the days of Braveheart seem to be long gone, he hasn’t done anything good in a while.

    I agree that part of the reason why Gibson is so vehemently hated right now is timing. In a few years people probably won’t be as angry because a new scandal would have cropped up.

    The question I have is if Gibson will ever been in a good film again? I have my doubts

  • Stef

    Oh geez. We don’t know why the cast and crew didn’t support it. Maybe some have worked with Mel in the past and didn’t get along with him. Maybe they didn’t like the idea or more stunt casting. All of this is just conjecture.
    But hey what do I know, maybe Zach G. is all-powerful, hates anti-Semites, but loves rapists.

    • C Men

      Yeah, that’s it, they just didn’t want to work with Mel because he’s difficult on set. Naive much?

      • Stef

        You are not getting my point. My point is that nobody knows what really happened, and suddenly there are 5 articles blaming Zach G for allowing a rapist in the first film. This story is getting spun out of control very quickly.

      • Sigh

        First of all, I don’t think anyone gives a sh*t what Zach Galifinakis thinks. He is one of the most overrated, worst actors in Hollywood. Mel Gibson, on the other hand, used to be one of the best, most talented actors. That his personal life is in a shambles should have nothing to do with his work. To compare Mike Tyson to Mel Gibson is not even a joke, it’s a travesty.

      • Ian

        Maybe they didn’t want him because he may be box office poison right this moment. He just made a huge movie with a high profile director that probably won’t be released, so it stands to reason some people might not be enthusiastic about having in the movie in what would be a high profile cameo.

      • Lily

        Um, are you kidding, Sigh? Mike Tyson was one of the best boxers of all time. Why would being good at your job (btw, Mel Gibson is a mediocre actor at BEST) excuse horrible, repulsive behavior?

    • G

      Maybe they had a lot of Jewish or African American people that worked on the set? And I agree Tyson shouldn’t be allowed in the film either for what he’s done.

      • Anna

        I think the main issue is timing. Mel Gibson had barely gotten over the initial scandal before this one erupted. He had started getting roles and was coming back before the tapes and accusations of assult. There has been no resolution, no public mea culpa. I am not like you, G. I believe in redemption and Mike Tyson has put effort to change. Obviously you can’t trust someone again instantly but with time, a person can prove they have seen the error of their ways by their long-term actions. Mel Gibson has not had the time to do that.

    • sarah

      maybe its that the early-20s viewer crowd don’t recall or know about tyson’s crime?

  • Via

    Mike has maintained his innocence about that for almost 20 years. I can’t say I believe him 100%, but after watching ‘Tyson,’ and seeing that man admit to some horrible things I do find it odd that this is the one thing he refuses to own up to. Also, as mentioned, his transgressions are a distant memory and he served time in jail for it which theoretically means he served his debt to society. Mel on the other hand just seems to offend while spewing bigotry and hatred with no recourse. Considering the fact that most people can still recite his phone messages doesn’t help either, his incident was not only recent but it played out every day all summer long. I personally couldn’t escape it, even when I tried. Ultimately I’m glad it was decided to keep him out of that movie. I just don’t find him humorous, much like I probably wouldn’t have wanted to see Mike in his Hangover role if it was released a year after he got out of prison.

    • JamesRWII

      I would never stand up for the character of Mike Tyson. I would like to say though that I never bought the rape story. No halfway intelligent woman would accept an invitation to go up to Mike Tyson’s hotel room all alone and not know what Mike was asking for. She got exactly what she was after; a heap of money from Mike Tyson and the pity fame that followed.

    • TinkerBell

      I remember the case and the fact that Ms.D. Washington ( I believe was her name) told the other beauty pageant participants that she was going with Tyson to get money out of him. I remember that she went into the bathroom to remove her tampon where there was a telephone. If she was in distress she could have called for help. I don’t believe in blaming the victim but I was never sure who the pawn and who the player was in this contest! HAVE AT THEE…

  • The Truth

    You know – another thing this writer overlooked about Tyson in addition to him paying ‘dues’ as ordered to by law… personal tragedy of his daughter’s death.

    Now I know that’s not supposed to be a chip in his defense or anything but I know that does affect the character of a man and whatever the case, Tyson’s done his time and has had enough hardship of his own… True hardship… none of this lunatic bull(#*% ranting that Mel has… THAT’S the difference and THAT’S the TRUTH.

  • goose

    I can’t believe people are too dumb to comprehend that this has NOTHING to do with either cameo’s previous personal history. If you know anything about Zach Galifianakis, the most likely reason for not wanting him is simply because it is a contrived stunt casting. It is an insincere way of getting people into the movie and it has no natural comedic value. The reason Tyson was in the first one is simply because Zach was an unknown outside of the comedy scene before the first Hangover, so while making it, he obviously wouldn’t have much say.

    • Mole

      Well, if you want to go with this theory, you could also say that Tyson’s role in the first one made sense to the story since it was in Vegas and he played himself.

  • AK

    I was two when this Mike Tyson rape saga unfolded and I had never even heard of it until this article. I couldn’t have even known to think twice about his participation in “The Hangover” when I saw the it. I’m sure there are a lot of other young people (the major target audience for that movie) who were similarly clueless.

    On the other hand, this Mel Gibson situation (from the drunk driving incident and forward) has unfolded publicly over the last four years. Everyone is currently aware of it and it’s a much more fresh anger for audiences.

    • Same here

      My thoughts exactly. I didn’t even KNOW about the rape conviction until this article! When I first think of Mike Tyson I think of “Ear biting” and then “Face tattoo.”

      • josef

        SAME HERE

      • Old Man River

        To quote The Hangover: What are you guys, 12 years old?

        How have you never heard of Tyson being a rapist???

  • This Guy

    “(Although I’m not sure enough dues can be paid for the crime he was convicted of.)”
    Luckily though, this isn’t left up to an entertainment writer. The judge and jury at his trial took care of this for you.

    • Dylan

      Oh STFU.

      • Sam

        Actually those were my thoughts exactly. Who is this writer to be judge, jury, and executioner. Mike Tyson has denied the allegations since day 1 but was convicted. There is virtually irrefutable evidence that Mel Gibson is a racist, anti-semitic, masogynistic a-hole.

        Basically this “writer” believes that it is impossible for a convicted criminal to pay their dues and go back to a normal life. Life imprisonment for each and every crime on the books? Or better yet, death penalty for all? Real logical.

      • Walker

        Give me a break Sam. “Mike Tyson has denied the allegations since day 1 but was convicted”. You’re pathetic. I can hear your heart bleeding from here. Because Tyson claims innocence he obviously WAS innocent right? He only served 3 years for rape. RAPE.
        Meanwhile you seem ready to lock up Gibson even though he wasn’t even charged for anything yet.
        Nice spelling on “masogynistic” by the way.

  • Jacob

    I think its the freshness of the matter that’s the problem. I think things need to be sorted out, and Gibson needs to face up to what he did and said before anyone can really pass judgement. I don’t blame the cast and crew for protesting, because I think some may still feel uncomfortable. They saw this cameo as a grab for quick forgiveness, and I don’t think that’s fair. Tom Cruise waited three years after the Matt Lauer disaster before doing Tropic Thunder. Michael Richards waited at least two years before spoofing his incident (rather nicely) on Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s just too soon for Mel to be given a free pass into the H’wood limelight again.

    • allie

      yes because as we all know what you do on your own time affects your ability to do your job? Whatever. I am so sick of the media being selective over who they choose to persecute and who they give a pass to. It’s ridiculous!

      • Peter

        Allie, if you don’t mind me asking, but after everything that’s occurred with Mr. Gibson in the last five years or so, what EXACTLY would he have to do for you to stop defending him?

      • G

        Ditto, Peter! But Gibson can do no wrong according to all of these people. No one cares he allegedly hit his girlfriend while she was holding their baby. And Allie you don’t care he’s racist either?

      • wakeforce

        Allie thinks everything Mel did will be forgiven because he made that Jesus movie! “For those who believe in Him will have eternal life”. It’s in the Bible!”, they say.

    • thin

      I actually think it’s a little more complex than that it’s simply “too soon.” I think there’s an actual sense of betrayal going around, whether or not it’s right for people to feel that way. Some of us have been fans of this guy for decades and have just associated who we think the real Mel Gibson is with the long-suffering good guy types he usually plays in his movies. So then we have all this stuff come out over the course of the last few years showing that he seems to be really kind of a hateful, misogynistic racist, and we feel like he’s been lying to us about himself for all those years, and people get emotional about that kind of thing. Tyson, on the other hand, has never cast himself as or been seen as anything much better than a well-paid thug. So when people see him get convicted of rape or bite off a piece of an opponent’s ear in a boxing match, it’s not really all that surprising, and it probably does more to confirm people’s pre-existing opinions than it does to change them. And then we see him doing something like The Hangover where he’s poking fun at his image, and we think that maybe he’s getting some perspective on himself, which can only be a good thing. True? Who knows. But I think the differences between the perceptions of these people is more at the heart of the sort of tide of public opinion going on and why it would be seen as okay for Tyson to be in the Hangover and not for Gibson to be in the sequel.

  • gaga

    the jews he offended and who rull hollywood,doesn`t want him in the movie,thats all !

    • wakeforce

      So, if what you say is true, Mel should have kept his mouth shut if he ever wanted to work again. Besides how do Jews rull Hollywood, anyway. The word rule is simple enough to spell, so you just proved your lack of intelligence right there. And by the way, the word intelligence means “smarts”! Thought I’d put in a way that even trailer trash could understand!

      • gaga

        im not from england, dumb ass !

  • myanicole1208

    I agree with the comments above. Tyson has moved away from that incident. If it would have happened two years ago, I guarantee he wouldn’t have been in the movie. And consider this: two years ago, the cast wasn’t as well known and probably didn’t have as much pull. They may not have wanted to work with Tyson, but they kept their mouthes shut to keep their roles in the movie. Now, they have a little more pull. And until this issue with Mel came up, I never heard one objection to Tyson being in the movie. And if there was, maybe they learned from the last time.

  • Mike

    I doubt the guys had any pull during the first movie so even if they objected it wouldn’t of mattered. Now they obviously do.

    • Ed

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • Dylan


    • Jessica

      Precisely! Part of the ridiculous explosion of The Hangover was that it was a cast of relative unknowns and no major headlining stars. If any of the actors had objected to Tyson’s appearance in the first film, they would have likely been ignored or fired. Now, not only are they all much bigger stars (Zack Galifianakis seems to be in every other movie that comes out), their much more essential to this film, having had appeared in the first one.

      • Crisp

        Is Tyson slated to be in the sequel? Curious if any of the actors would step in. I HIGHLY doubt it.

  • Djse

    One big difference seems to be that Mel Gibson really *needs* something like a cameo in Hangover 2 to attempt to restart his career. The stars of the movie didn’t want to shoulder that kind of burden, and ultimately his bit got cut. Granted, I have no idea what Mike Tyson’s career looked like just before or after The Hangover, but I’m guessing he’s not going to show up in many more flicks. His was more of a one-time self-parody cameo, some 17 years after his most public transgressions. Any future appearances by Tyson could arguably be viewed as rip-offs of his Hangover bit. Gibson’s, on the other hand, would have felt more like a sad attempt to jump-start his flailing career while his most recent screw-ups are still far too fresh in the public’s mind.

  • indieethos

    Yep, it’s all about timing. We all know about the short-term memory problems of Hollywood and the mainstream media and those types.

  • Peter

    I simply do not understand why Gibson has the passionate defenders that he does. After everything this clown has done in the last few years, what exactly would he have to do to get you clowns to stop carrying water for him?

    • Charlie

      Beats me as well. Troubled, douchey, male Hollywood stars always seem to have a devoted pack of delusional female defenders, but Gibson’s crazies are especially annoying and self-righteous.

      • G

        Agree completely, Charlie & Peter. I’m a women and I’m sick of all of the stupid ones defending the abusers on here and making up excuses for Gibson.

      • Muffy

        No one is a Saint. It’s not just females who over look their favorites Celebs indiscretions. Countless males do too! Tupac wasn’t Mr. Rogers, but I still love his music. How many Entertainers are 100% pure? Do you even listen to music or watch movies?

    • Walker

      While there are some who will idiotically defend Gibson, the point the writer and others are making is that it’s curious that Tyson’s cameo wasn’t met with the same level of furor.

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