First off, good Friday morning to you. You look great today, really ready to conquer the world and scratch off those remaining “to-do” items before plunging ahead into a delightful weekend. I love you. Now I’m going to talk about racism, rape, and hate for awhile.

A few days ago, I told you that the Internet was trying to ruin something for you. I can now tell you all about it, as that ship has sailed…sailed on a sea of antisemitism, sexism, and general hate.

Mel Gibson was going to be the surprise cameo in The Hangover 2 . It’s set in Thailand, rumor had it he was going to play a tattoo artist, it probably would have been funny because Gibson is really great at comedy, an incredibly talented actor, and one of the worst people in the world.

Turns out, everyone in the cast of The Hangover kind of agreed on all those points, and refused to work with him. Supposedly this is what happened, mind you, it could also just be that the cat was so out of the bag that there was no need to have this surprise cameo anymore, what with there being no surprise around it.

This has inspired several blogs and movie sites I follow to stand up and point out the hypocrisy of this stance, as the cast was more than willing to work with Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist. These opinion pieces are all puffed chest and clenched fist, indignant that movie actors would have the gall to stand up and say no to what would clearly be the first real step in the Mel Gibson image reclamation project. To those writing these pieces trashing the cast of The Hangover 2 , allow me to be the first to say YOU are in fact the near-sighted morons. Here’s why.

Mike Tyson served his time. Do I like him? Not really. I don’t have any need to hang out with him and pet his tiger (I didn’t mean that like it sounded…okay, kinda). I don’t think that means we give him a hug and say “all better now, Mike,” but he was punished for a crime, has spent years since then in therapy, and seems at least to be a better person than he was before. Contrast all of this with Gibson, who has been unrepentant in his racist tirades, apologizing for the first bout just long enough to record messages including such creative and colorful racism it would be hilarious if it wasn’t being left on a machine of a woman whose jaw he supposedly broke. Until all of that comes out in the wash, until he is either held accountable for brutally beating a woman and spouting gallons of verbal hate that took down various ethnic groups as collateral damage, I’m pretty okay saying I think Mike Tyson is a better person than Mel Gibson right now. Yes, I think it’s perfectly fine for them to have worked with Tyson and reject Gibson.

2.) Gibson is one of their own, and they understand what this part means to him and what he means to them. It’s like this: the self-deprecating cameo is step one in the “make people like Mel again” campaign. You know it, I know it. So do they. They realize that if they allow captain hatebeard in, they will directly have a hand in helping him get back to making millions of dollars again and being famous before the dust even settles on his abusive, hate-spewing last half decade. Tyson is an athlete. Gibson is an actor. It’s fine for me that the cast would say “we don’t accept this from one of our own and we will not help him get back on his feet.” I’m good with that, and anyone who isn’t is a chickenshit coward. Period. If I overhear a guy at the office leave a message for his wife that refers to her getting gang raped by a pack of “n-words,” and he gets fired, I’m not going to give him a few bucks to help out at my garage sale until he gets back on his feet. Introduce me to a guy I’ve never met before who has a checkered past and wants to get back on his feet, I’m inclined to help him out.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Whether or not this is even what happened, that the actors bulled up and said no, I’m glad Gibson is out. Not just because I hated that the surprise cameo was so obviously ruined, but because I don’t think he’s deserving of a comeback. He’s shown no remorse, is still embroiled in controversy, and hasn’t earned redemption. Beyond that, I strongly advise Internet writers not to posture and judge a group of people trying to make a decision like this. I’m not going to drop into some personal-attack arguments where I malign the usually very smart and creative writers who penned some of these editorials, but I am going to just say shame on you for your limited-scope oversimplification. You’re wrong on this one.

Follow me on Twitter.

Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

Leave a comment