There’s a story out of Hollywood that Mel Gibson won’t be making a cameo in the sequel to “The Hangover,” supposedly because the cast and crew (led by Zach Galifianakis) refused to work with him.
At Salon, Matt Zoller Seitz points out the hypocrisy of that refusal, considering that all of those people had no problem working in the first movie with convicted rapist Mike Tyson, but adds we shouldn’t be surprised, what with Hollywood’s history of hypocrisies:
How is it that Roman Polanski — in theory a pariah after fleeing the United States to avoid prosecution on charges of drugging and raping a barely adolescent girl — got a 2003 Oscar as Best Director (in absentia) and a standing ovation, while a 1999 honorary Oscar for director Elia Kazan was preceded by months of protest over Kazan being a rat for the House Un-American Activities Committee? One wonders, how many of the actors that made a big show of sitting on their hands when Kazan got his award applauded loudly for Polanski four years later? And does anyone doubt that if Polanski offered Galifianakis the lead role in his next film that the actor wouldn’t happily accept? Or that if Tyson invited Galifianakis to his birthday party, that he’d show up with a bottle of Jagermeister, then re-enact the infamous punch-out from “The Hangover” while guests snapped pictures with their cell phones and posted them on Twitter?
Why is Lindsay Lohan, substance abuser and intoxicated driver, borderline-unemployable right now, but Kate Moss, a one-time cokehead blasted as a toxic role model for young women, still a sought-after model, appearing in a Valisere lingerie campaign and on the cover of Bryan Ferry’s new album “Olympia”? And how is it that Charlie Sheen, who was accused of strangling his wife Brooke Mueller and holding a knife to her throat on Christmas Day, 2009, is still the star of the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” and recently signed a new contract guaranteeing him two more years of employment?
While Seitz takes some unnecessary shots at Alec Baldwin in his piece, he’s absolutely right when he says it’s possible for the public to accept both the good and the bad when it comes to celebrities:
Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite, a sexist, a homophobe, and very possibly a deranged religious fanatic; he’s also one of the few bona fide movie stars of the last three decades and the most brilliant action filmmaker since Sam Peckinpah. Polanski is a great director and a sex offender. Kazan was a great director and a rat. Lohan and Moss are substance abusers and arresting beauties whose most interesting work probably lies ahead of them. Sheen is a master of droll self-parody and an unexpectedly charming sitcom star, and a wife-abusing scum that should be behind bars right now. If I cared enough to hypothesize an ideal future for Sheen, I’d picture him serving several years in prison for assaulting his wife, preferably in maximum security with the hardest of hardcore felons, then moving over to HBO, playing himself.
As for “The Hangover,” there’s still going to be a sequel, because in Hollywood the most important thing is money, and this was the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. But instead of a shock cameo by Mel Gibson, we’ll get an understated performance by Liam Neeson.