James Gunn has been removed as director of the Guardians Of The Galaxy series after a batch of old social media dispatches were unearthed that touched on areas like pedophilia and rape. In the latest shocking #metoo development in the entertainment industry, Gunn was severed from the Marvel Comics Universe after a slew of social media posts he wrote before getting Guardians of the Galaxy surfaced. According to Fox News, they were posted because Gunn is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the effort was to knock him down a few pegs.
Mission accomplished. Gunn has long been a provocateur who has drawn ire in the past for his unusual humor. Among the tweets that forced Disney and Marvel’s hand were: “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
Another: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’” There were others that made satirical comments about the 9/11 attack, AIDS and the Holocaust.
Disney responded quickly and decisively: “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,” said Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman, in a statement just released.
Since the fall of Harvey Weinstein, a heightened level of sensitivity in Hollywood has led to one headline after another, from Scarlett Johansson withdrawing from playing a transgender character in the $30 million New Regency film Rub & Tug, to Paramount TV chief Amy Powell being fired for alleged racially insensitive statements. This was just the past nine days.
The idea of being held to task for old social media posts might be new to Hollywood, but we see it rear up all the time in sports, most recently when all-star Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader was forced to apologize for old homophobic and racist posts made while he was in high school in 2012. One and one-half of the Two and a Half Men cast were felled by outlandish social media messaging, as both Charlie Sheen and Angus T. Jones issued volatile statements that disparaged the long running hit sitcom.
Here is Gunn defending the prior tweets, which were captured by Fox News before his Twitter feed was taken down.
1. 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.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018 2. 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.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018 4. 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.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018 5. 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.