James Gunn fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 for offensive tweets
Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 writer and director James Gunn after a series of offensive tweets from almost a decade ago resurfaced.
James Gunn's tweets, which joked about child rape and paedophilia, emerged Thursday, July 19, after self-proclaimed "new right" "American nationalist" media personality Mike Cernovich and One America News Network's Jack Posobiec released screenshots of the remarks on their own Twitter accounts. Gunn uses twitter frequently to critique US President Donald Trump and engage in online sparring matches with pro-Trump accounts such as those owned by Posobiec and Cernovich.
Gunn posted an apology on Twitter later that day, where he expressed his regret for the remarks made between 2008-2012.
"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," the tweet said.
"As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor," he continued.
"It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."
Gunn went on, "In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it."
Gunn was fired from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film on Friday, July 20.
"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James's Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," said Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman in an official statement.
Gunn’s firing sparked a variety of reactions with some celebrated his dismissal and others defending him.
The director issued a solemn apology Friday afternoon, writing: "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," the statement began.
Gunn continued, "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."
The first two volumes of the Guardians of the Galaxy are renowned as international successes with both smashing the box-office and Gunn earning praise for turning the relatively unknown collection of comic book characters into an expansive franchise.
Several actors from the series, took to social media to share their thoughts on the news.
Dave Bautista wrote: “I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is [email protected] is one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
Chris Pratt wrote the following bible verse: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. JAMES 1:19.”
And Zoe Saldana added: “It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.”
Petitions are now circling online calling for Disney to rehire Gunn, with one, posted on change.org, receiving nearly 10,000 signatures.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 is slated for release in 2020 and Marvel and Disney have released no further information on whether or not Gunn’s firing will affect the film’s production schedule at this time.
This is not the first time Gunn faced an onslaught of criticism for shocking remarks, either.
In 2011, Gunn apologised to critics for homophobic comments and crude jokes he made about gay comic-book characters on his blog.Tags: