Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn has been fired by Disney.
Things escalated very quickly once old tweets from Gunn were brought to light. The director and writer had tweeted a number of highly inappropriate messages – from around a decade ago.
Gunn has since removed them, but according to Fox News:
One of the now-deleted tweets said, “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
Another message read: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”
Other now-deleted tweets from 2008-2011 included jokes about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, AIDS and the holocaust.
As reported by Deadline, Fox News is an outlet that – alongside conservative sources The Daily Caller, One America News Network correspondent Jack Posobiec, and commentator Mike Cernovich – may have had a hand in the tweets getting a spotlight, perhaps, at least in part, the result of Gunn mocking conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.
Gunn has long been known for his outspoken attitude on social media, often calling out individuals and often (and, it appears, somewhat recklessly) expressing opinions on politics. It’s a hyper-sensitive era, and companies aren’t willing to allow themselves to be caught up in scandals – no matter the size. Roseanne Barr’s firing is another example of how certain offensive commentary can land you in hot water.
In a statement, Walt Disney Chairman Alana Horn had the following to say:
“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 has released a statement, accepting Disney’s decision. As per Variety:
“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.”
Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, and whose credits include Slither and Super, was expected to direct the third Guardians film, although that was never officially announced. The filmmaker was scheduled to appear at Comic-Con, but that’s not happening.
It now remains to be seen how Disney decides to move forward with Guardians 3. Gunn had been writing the screenplay:
Every bit of my heart. pic.twitter.com/hSxnbLpdn6
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 25, 2018