Todd Phillips defends his decision to axe the troubled actor

Hangover 2 director Todd Phillips has defended his decision to axe Mel Gibson from the Bangkok-set sequel.

The troubled actor was hoping that his cameo role in the sequel would proved to be a comeback – much like Mike Tyson‘s appearance in last summer’s movie.

However, following a reported protest by the cast and crew, Gibson was axed.

Phillips told Etonline.com: “He’s one of our finest actors and, quite honestly, one of our finest directors. But The Hangover 2 is a family… and as much as I loved the idea, a lot of people didn’t… I didn’t want anything to come in between that family.”

Star Zach Galifianakis is believed to be the cast member instrumental in Gibson‘s firing, declaring just before his departure that he was “in deep protest right now about a movie I’m working on, up in arms about something”.

The actor also joked recently that Gibson was “the worst Jew in Hollywood” – referring to Gibson‘s DUI offence in 2006, where he is said to have told his arresting officer that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”.

Earlier this year, recorded conversations, believed to be Gibson verbally abusing his former girlfriend, were leaked online.