'Guardians of Galaxy' director James Gunn fired by Disney over tweets about rape and pedophilia
The emergence of insensitive tweets made by Gunn on topics such as rape and pedophilia has forced Disney to terminate their relations with him.
Disney has announced that it has cut all ties with James Gunn after certain tweets that the director had made joking about delicate topics such as rape and pedophilia resurfaced recently.
The tweets, which were made nine or 10 years ago, was unearthed by conservative outlet The Daily Caller, and soon enough, several prominent personalities on the right were retweeting the posts, which garnered significant attention.
Forced to act swiftly, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn released a statement that confirmed the termination of their relationship with Gunn 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."
The move shouldn't come as a surprise to those who have read the content of the tweets, which display a shocking lack of sensitivity and empathy from the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' director. "Expendables is so manly I f***ed the s*** out of the p***y boy next to me! The boys ARE back in town!," one read, and in another, he wrote, "The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!"
Two others similarly read "I’m doing a big Hollywood film adaptation of The Giving Tree with a happy ending — the tree grows back and gives the kid a b*** job," and "The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of What It Feels Like When Uncle Bernie Fists Me."
While a few are writing the tweets off as 'shock humor,' Gunn was taking no chances. As the backlash grew, he deleted over 10,000 of his old tweets, with many of them relating to violence against women — one pertained to him hitting his wife — and transphobia.
Ironically, Gunn had been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump's sexual misadventures, calling for impeachment on numerous occasions, and he brushed off the latest scandal by jotting the tweets down to him being a "provocateur."
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) 20 July 2018
In response to the scandal, he posted his defense in a series of tweets. "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," he wrote.
"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," he continued.
"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."
"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 ended.
A director whose stock was on the rise, Gunn's axing is likely to affect the future of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,' which he was writing the script for and was attached to direct. His work in the first two installments drew praise for its unique superhero films, a departure from the standard, cookie-cutter builds. Combined, they earned Disney over $1.5 billion dollars in a franchise that was little known outside of comic book fandom.
While Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Klementieff will be reprising their roles, it is unclear who will take up Gunn's positions in the third movie, which was expected to begin production in 2019 for a 2020 release.