In a bit of very shocking news today, James Gunn has been fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a film in which he was set to write and direct – as he did for the first two films in the Marvel franchise. It comes after very offensive tweets were dug up from his past, in which he joked about pedophilia and rape – among other things.
Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite Marvel movie and I considered myself a huge James Gunn supporter. However, after seeing these disturbing tweets I think Marvel did the right thing.
Personal Suggestion: Bring in Taika Waititi. pic.twitter.com/d3Yrp9apxQ
— April Dawn (@April13Dawn) July 20, 2018
So James Gunn had a few bad tweets back in the day but maybe firing him is an overreact-OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/if1koS0XCo
— Salar Pedram (@SalarPedram) July 20, 2018
Deadline reports that some of the other tweets said things like:
“I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”
Disney then released a statement which read:
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
Gunn himself addressed the issue (before being fired from the film) on Twitter before deleting (and re-opening?) his account, saying:
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
“In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.”
He’s now released another statement after being fired:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.
Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
It’s interesting because earlier this year, tweets were dug up in which he accused Jared Leto of being a pedophile, and then said it again recently.
Gunn was set to make a big announcement at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, but now that no longer appears to be the case:
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 17, 2018
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) July 20, 2018
People are having some very strong reactions to the news:
People brought up James Gunn’s old pedo tweets and he got fired immediately. Bryan Singer been a known pedophile since the 90s and has gotten consistent work. Das crazy
— Jeff the GM 👨🏿💼 (@lantarisesup) July 20, 2018
I think @JamesGunn is an a**hole, as my exchange with him earlier this week made clear. I also think that firing him for vile old joke tweets is bad precedent and a mistake. There is no limiting principle to the outrage mob. https://t.co/wtSFzrIUER
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 20, 2018
Do NOT defend this Ben. Seriously. I will lose all respect for you instantly. pic.twitter.com/Pkv1tsmjSY
— Community Q (@_AllTheCoolest) July 20, 2018
Apparently the secret Easter egg in Guardians of the Galaxy is that for a split second, you can see that the Collector has a print out of all of James Gunn’s pedophile tweets
— Hard Drive (@HardDriveMag) July 20, 2018
so james gunn has been fired for jokes about rape and pedophilia and people still trying to defend him saying that it’s been almost a decade of those tweets pic.twitter.com/26HeQM7rvy
— estefany (@brookIynmarvel) July 20, 2018
…AND, ONCE AGAIN, FOR THE FOOLS IN THE BACK: If Disney looked at the Tweets and said “we shouldn’t be in business with this guy,” then that’s how it goes. If it’s true for Roseanne, it’s true for James Gunn. Fair is fair.
But it matters, big picture, WHY it became a “cause.”
— Bob Chipman @ SDCC (@the_moviebob) July 20, 2018
James Gunn mistakenly tweeting rather than using the search box to find the tweets that cost him Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is like the very depressing version of Ed Balls Day. pic.twitter.com/TjRc8XMOA0
— Mic Wright (@brokenbottleboy) July 20, 2018
James Gunn’s tweets were deplorable but if Disney are gonna fire him for horrible things he said ten years ago, are they gonna fire Robert Downey Jr. for all the shit he did back in the day?
— Thomas Broome-Jones (@TBroomey) July 20, 2018
Remember when Disney made a movie with Victor Salva, *after* he was convicted of being an actual pedophile? It was called Powder.
James Gunn, on the other hand, made a few gross jokes 10 years ago and he’s been blacklisted from the Disney family.
Just interesting, is all.
— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) July 20, 2018
What James Gunn is like in private is another subject but I mean somebody brought up a good point about Disney still hired Victor Salva after he was convicted for child molestation. I mean all James did was write nonsense on the internet? But nowadays you can’t say anything.
— Johnny The Ghoul (@JohnnyTheGhoul) July 20, 2018
So they’ll fire James Gunn for making pedophilic jokes on twitter, but Bryan Singer and Victor Salva are still working and have careers? Interesting.
— Lauren⚡️ (@suppylauren) July 20, 2018
Disney fires James Gunn over some old Tweets. But in the 90’s they had zero problems with hiring director Victor Salva after he was released from prison for molesting a child actor, to do a family movie full of young people. Jokes are bad, but blowing kids is acceptable?
— Jeremy Williams 🐯 (@Metalyger) July 20, 2018
You fire @JamesGunn over some poor taste tweets but you work with Bryan Singer and Victor Salva who’ve raped little kids?
— Brad Henderson (@BradFHenderson) July 20, 2018
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still scheduled to be released at some point in 2020 – though it’s obviously uncertain who the new director for the film will be.
What do you think of this news? Do you think the firing was justified? Be sure to tell us all of your thoughts in the comments.