‘Hangover 2′ Director Addresses Mel Gibson Switch

'No one was ever fired,' says Todd Phillips.

After news broke that Mel Gibson’s cameo in “The Hangover 2″ had been scrapped , observers tried to figure out why the Australian actor had landed on the cutting-room floor. But the film’s director, Todd Phillips, wants the public to know that Gibson wasn’t fired.

“No one was ever fired,” Phillips said, according to MTV Radio. “It’s a term that is so obscene to me.”

Gibson was slated to play a tattoo artist. But shortly after “Hangover” star Zach Galifianakis said during a radio appearance that he was in a “deep protest right now with a movie I’m working on,” Liam Neeson replaced Gibson .

“Someone was doing me a favor to come in for a two-minute cameo, and we changed it,” Phillips explained. “It wasn’t like we fired somebody. [Gibson] was just doing a favor from the beginning.”

Phillips recently released a statement saying that he had wanted Gibson in the film, but that not everyone agreed with his decision.

“I thought Mel would have been great in the movie,” read the statement. “And I had the full backing of [Warner Bros. Pictures president] Jeff Robinov and his team. But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew.”

What do you think of Mel Gibson being cut from “The Hangover 2″? Let us know in the comments!