Director Todd Phillips insisted on Monday that while he regards Mel Gibson as "one of our finest actors and, quite honestly, one of our finest directors," he felt it was necessary to remove him from The Hangover 2 to keep peace among the film's actors and crew. As reported by today's (Wednesday) New York Post , Phillips told the 14th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala (part of the Hollywood Film Festival), " The Hangover 2 is a family ... and as much as I loved the idea [of Gibson appearing in a cameo role], a lot of people didn't. ... I didn't want anything to come in between that family." Phillips replaced Gibson with Liam Neeson in the cameo role of a Thailand Tattoo shop operator.