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Mel Gibson booted from The Hangover 2, allegedly at the urging of Zach Galifianakis

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We previously reported that walking meltdown Mel Gibson would fill, in The Hangover 2, the "wacky disgraced celebrity cameo" spot filled by Mike Tyson in the original film. Now, director Todd Phillips has announced that Gibson has been cut after protests from members of his cast and crew.

Phillips didn't specify who he was talking about, but on a recent episode of the podcast Comedy Death-Ray Radio, Zach Galifianakis made a cryptic reference to being "in a deep protest right now with a movie I’m working on, up in arms about something." Galifianakis apparently has some clout, though over at Salon, blogger Matt Zoller Seitz calls hypocrisy on a Hollywood that refuses to work with Gibson but thinks a convicted rapist like Mike Tyson is a riot. (I see a distinction between the two, but Seitz may have a point.) Stepping in to replace Gibson is the decidedly less controversial Liam Neeson. The Hangover 2 will come out in May 2011.