GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Director Fired for Horrific Tweets that Resurfaced
By Tess Farrand, Contributing Writer
Last week, Disney cut ties with director James Gunn who wrote and directed GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and its sequel because of a series of crass and deeply offensive tweets about rape and pedophilia that resurfaced.
The tweets, which were posted between 2008 and 2011 are extremely disturbing. One of the tweets 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!’”
As a result, Gunn will no longer be spearheading the third installment of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies, which was set to release in 2020. The Chairman of Disney, Alan Horn, announced, “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 directed the independent movies SLITHER and SUPER before making his way to Disney. His movies often showcase suggestive sexual humor, violence and lewd language. At one point, Gunn also created a web series for SPIKE called PG PORN. The series’ tagline reads, “For people who love everything about porn. . . except the sex.”
Gunn responded publicly that ten years prior he viewed himself as a “provocateur” who told jokes that were “outrageous” and “taboo,” something that he now acknowledges as a failure. Gunn continued in several tweets, “I have regretted them [the offensive tweets] 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.”
Gunn finished off stating, “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.”
In response to the recent news of the severed relationship between Gunn and Disney, many of the cast and crew continue to publicly comment on Disney’s decision.
Zoe Saldana who plays the character Gamora in the Marvel movies spoke out saying, “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.”
Likewise, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, tweeted “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. I’m NOT ok with what’s happening to him.
Outspoken Christian, Chris Pratt, simply tweeted a Bible verse to his 5.93 million followers, with no explanation attached.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 22, 2018
A petition has even sprung up asking Disney to accept Gunn’s apology and proclamation that he’s changed and rehire him. The petition currently has nearly 300,000 signers. Rosanne Barr stated however that she’s disgusted at the amount of support Gunn is receiving, given that she was also fired by Disney for a controversial tweet and has since been blacklisted in the industry.
What still needs to be decided, by both Hollywood studios and the American public is, should people still be held accountable to old offensive comments if they’ve since apologized and now act differently? If they’re only words, then yes, a second chance shouldn’t be off the table if the individual shows remorse and has changed. If there are criminal actions behind those words (which James Gunn claims there isn’t), then you’re in a whole new ball game, which is what Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby are currently facing.
Chris Pratt has the right idea by quoting James 1. Maybe if everyone practiced being “slow to speak,” and also spoke only what is beautiful and builds up one another as Philippians 4:8 states, then we wouldn’t be in this problem.
Since Movieguide® published this story, the cast of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies has released a letter asking Disney to reinstate James Gunn for Vol. 3 of the franchise. Other pundits have noted, however, that Gunn himself recently sent a tweet demanding that Roseann Barr be fired for an offensive tweet she wrote and demanding that Fox News host Laura Ingraham of THE INGRAHAM ANGLE be fired because she called anti-gun teenager David Hogg a “whiner” on her program.