Director James Gunn Has Been Fired From ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ Over Offensive Tweets
The decision has divided fans.
Director and screenwriter James Gunn has been fired from the helm of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, after alt-rights critics highlighted a number of old tweets by the filmmaker containing jokes about paedophelia and rape.
Walt Disney Studios announced on Friday that Gunn had been sacked from the third instalment of the franchise that he helped make into one of the biggest hits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“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 Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn in a statement.
The tweets, which Gunn wrote between 2008 and 2011, were brought to light by alt-right personality Mike Cernovich, who shared them with his more than 420,000 followers. Cernovich is best known for his role in promoting Pizzagate, a conspiracy theory that alleged Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair ran a child sex ring out of the basement of a Washington D.C. pizzeria.
Cernovich cited Gunn’s tweets as proof of “a pedo network operating in Hollywood”.
Gunn has previously drawn the ire of the alt-right on a number of occasions for being an outspoken critic of President Trump and other conservative politicians.
In a statement on Friday, Gunn apologised for the tweets, and said he understood why he had been fired.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” he said. “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.”
The decision to fire Gunn has divided fans. Some have condemned his tweets and applauded Disney for terminating his employment. Others have criticised the studio for punishing the filmmaker for things he wrote a decade ago, as well as seemingly validating the tactics of Cenovich and his allies on the far-right.
Let’s talk about this. James Gunn tweeted despicable, horrible things. six years ago. Disney knew this. Gunn apologized. Disney knew this.
This is partially a company giving in to a right wing blogger and his vocal, reactionary audience who made a lot of noise last night. https://t.co/gx1DKHxhP9
— Julia 💀 Alexander (@loudmouthjulia) July 20, 2018
Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista has tweeted his support of Gunn, saying that he is “NOT ok with what’s happening to him”.
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn 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
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018
It’s unclear what the decision to fire Gunn will mean for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which has not begun shooting but is expected to be released in 2020 or 2021.
Feature image via Wikimedia