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Film Matters: 22/11/2010

Mel GibsonSome may be delighted, some may be disappointed but whether you like it or not, The Hangover 2 is currently in production. The first film, for those four people who didn’t manage to catch it, was the story of a bunch of thirty-something chaps getting horrendously drunk and awaking in the morning to find a baby, a tiger and an angry boxer in their hotel room. Hilarity ensued.

Very little has been released about the follow up but some news that did emerge last week was that Mel Gibson will not be taking part. He was initially cast as a tattoo artist but so many of the actors and crew opposed the hiring of the anti-Semitic, mysogynist alcoholic, that he was sacked.

This seems to be a rather good move as the man has lost a lot of credibility in the last few years. In 2006 he was caught drink driving by a Jewish police woman who he went on to call ‘sugar tits’, after which he accused her race of starting all the world’s wars. Not the kind of man I would want to share an afternoon with, let alone a working relationship. So my hat is off to the folks at The Hangover 2 for shunning a once major star against what I’m sure was some considerable studio pressure.

But, and there is of course a but, this is hypocrisy to the extreme. The aforementioned angry boxer of the first film was none other than Mike Tyson. There is no doubting Tyson’s credentials as a sportsman, as there is no doubting Gibson’s achievements in the world of film. Tyson, though, has a far more troubled past than Gibson could even conceive.

Tyson was involved in the rather grizzly business of biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear during a fight in 1997, but more seriously, he was convicted for the rape of an 18-year-old beauty queen in 1992 and has always been unapologetic about the crime. In a documentary about his life filmed in 2008, he demonstrated the level of his contempt for women which is, quite frankly, unforgivable.

So Zach Galifianakis et al, I believe you should re-evaluate your moral code if anti-Semitism is bad but rape is fine. I call it double standards. On another note, I hope Heather Graham is in the new film because she is one fine piece of meat.

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