James Gunn Fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Offensive Tweets

jamesgunn

Marvel Studios may have decided to skip Comic-Con this year, but it looks like they have still managed to drop the biggest bombshell of the weekend. Unfortunately, it is not a particularly positive one. James Gunn is the latest celebrity to be found guilty in the Court of Public Opinion after a handful of tasteless and offensive tweets were dug up from his Twitter timeline and exposed by an alt-right personality. As a result, Disney has removed him as director of the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Most of the tweets in question, however, were made anywhere from 5 to 10 years ago. Disney chairman Alan Horn issued the following statement:

“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.”

James Gunn has also since responded with a statement of his own on Twitter:

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.

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.

3. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.

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.

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.

Once again, this serves as a harsh reminder that anything you say publicly in the digital age can and will come back to haunt you (especially when you have made enemies who are desperately trying to find dirt on you). It is not at all surprising that James Gunn has said things like this in his past, however. His history with Troma was more than enough proof of that and clearly Disney knew what they were getting into when they hired him for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Are you disappointed by this news? Do you think Disney made the right call?

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  • Deven Science

    This is STOOPID.

  • MartyMcFlyJr

    Vol. 3 is supposed to film in the fall and Gunn is the only one writing it as far as I know. So if they severed business ties I guess that means they’re now starting from scratch?

  • Newtman98

    We live in a strange time…

  • Matt Thephotoman

    if you look at the tweets he wrote, and there are many, he’s clearly left them no option but to fire him. Maybe one bad taste joke would have been overlooked but when there are so many and with that clear thread of child abuse running through them all, i think most employers wouldn’t want to be associated with him. I personally think Disney have made the right call.

  • Primal

    I gave this guy a chance, but I had to unfollow him on twitter and eventually blocked him because I’d still get his retweets. I think he evolved into a worse human being as he added his unabashed political beliefs into the twittersphere, but his work as a creator has gotten better. Bring on Super 2. Oh, his taste in music is good too.

  • It’s probably very hard especially for a studio like Disney to keep on a director who fun-tweets about fucking and fisting little boys. No matter how long ago he tweeted that. It’s the Mouse House after all, not the Blumhouse.

  • Loren

    If Rosanne had to go.. Gunn had to definitely go.

  • newtaurus

    I’m interested to see how the FJ crew falls on this considering their opinion of Roseanne was overwhelmingly in favor of her dismissal. But it was mentioned that Jay will not be participating this coming week and Sean the Editorializer blamed everyone for this situation except Gunn himself, so there’s that.

    There’s a lot to digest here, but I’ll bottom line it: I don’t think he should’ve been fired, but I’m not shedding tears over it either. People need to realize that having a voice doesn’t always mean you need to use it. Gunn was constantly running his mouth about POTUS and his supporters (something Sean conveniently left out) and he pissed off one with too much time on his hands. I don’t see anyone doing the right thing here, just two jackasses spending too much time on social media.

  • newtaurus

    As far as Disney goes, I disagree that they knew what they were getting into. It’s been mentioned more than once on the podcast how these directors come from out of nowhere to direct these blockbusters. After dealing with Favreau and Jenkins they were probably happy to take anyone who would just shut up and do what they were told, and Gunn, who was doing almost nothing at the time, was probably happy to take the “payola” as Frank would say.

  • Peter Prystanski

    I don’t like where this going. I predict a lot more careers will go in the toilet because this is going to be the next epidemic. The difference between he and
    Roseanne is that he made a joke years ago and she made a statement of racist and full of hate. James Gunn got his training through Lloyd Kaufman. When you build a career you have to some provocative stuff he started as a screenwriter. As an artist you can’t censor yourself or what is the point…People are so judgemental right now. Where do you think the talent just show up and everyone works on PG and G rated stuff. People don’t understand life.

  • Peter Prystanski

    PS I hope he ghost directs. I don’t trust another jobber to get it right.

  • Primal

    Remember, freedom of speech protects you from the government, not from your employer. It’s good to see Disney show some standards here and they had to cut ties with him based on them.

    Of course I’m disappointed by the news as I’m a fan of Gunn’s previous work, but a Marvel movie has so many hands in the pot anyway that you can never tell who directed it. It’s his writing for GotG that I’ll miss.

  • Frank Booth

    He didn’t like Trump. He often voiced his opinion on why he didn’t like Trump.

    And you think he became a worse human being because of it? Worse than Trump?

    Now that’s fucked up.

  • newtaurus

    When you say he made “a joke” years ago it just proves you don’t have the first clue about what’s going on with this story. Thursday night/Friday morning James Gunn deleted TEN THOUSAND Tweets from his account (Sean also left that out of the story as well). Among them were rape jokes. Pedophilia jokes. AIDS jokes. Holocaust jokes. Transphobic jokes. Animals masturbating on children jokes. Racist jokes. One of them was a link to young girls touching themselves. I could go on.

    So I guess the question for you Peter is this: Do you truly believe that a steady stream of rape and pedophilia jokes is just “provocative stuff” or are you really this ignorant? Either way, maybe you should know what you’re talking about before commenting.

    “A joke.” Funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

  • newtaurus

    Spare everyone your derangement syndrome. Primal didn’t say he was worse than Trump, don’t make s*** up in your head and tell us someone else said it.

    I don’t care for Trump much myself but I don’t waste my life complaining about him on a social media platform designed for complete morons. Gunn would still have his job if he understood the difference between having a voice and knowing when to use it.

  • Frank Booth

    Good talking points, my Republican friend.

  • Primal

    I’m responding to Gunn’s apology tweets about him being a different person now. I’m assuming he’s evolved as a person but as someone who has added more negativity on twitter than positive. He even says that he doesn’t know if he is a better person. I’ve blocked him so I don’t know the latest stuff he’s been saying or what he’s deleted except for what people have been saying.

    When I said I was giving him a chance, I’m saying I’ve seen those some of those horrible tweets and I still followed him pre-Trump. When I saw a consistency with Gunn’s off-putting political remarks, there is no point for me to follow someone who projects negative shit all the time. BTW, I didn’t even mention Trump, so is your accusation an example of that Trump Derangement Syndrome?

    I’m with newtaurus, when I say I don’t care for Trump myself.

  • Frank Booth

    Both you and newtaurus say you don’t care for Trump, but you both called my response a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    Dismissing my responses as irrational because “I just hate Trump soooo much” is exactly what Trump and his supporters want you to believe.

    It’s just another term weaponized for propaganda (like fake news) to discredit anyone who disagrees with them.

    Point of the matter is this: Gunn was fired because he pissed off Trump supporters, not because he tweeted a bunch of tasteless, if not morally reprehensible, jokes.

    I’m sure Disney vetted Gunn to some extent and came across those tweets. They were just hoping no one else would.

  • Primal

    Dude, you really need to relax. I was just asking if what you said was an example of “TDS” was since you did put words in my mouth in very negative way.

  • Frank Booth

    I remember when Gunn first started to use Twitter as a platform to voice his political opinion.

    He actually apologized to his followers, saying that he didn’t want to annoy anyone who just loved his work, but he couldn’t just sit back and not say something about Trump and his policies.

    So when you write “he evolved into a worse human being as he added his unabashed political beliefs into the twittersphere”, I can only think that it was Trump related because he wouldn’t be tweeting politically otherwise.

    The way I see it: Trump is a bully and he was pushing back against that bully through Twitter. I don’t see how that would make him evolve into a worse human being.

    And dude, I don’t relax, I chillax.

  • Primal

    OMG, we can agree that he is a bully! Yay!

  • kent88

    I think we all know of one Hollywood mogul who’s very worried right now; one Mr. Jason Cheel. From all the child art jokes in the early days of FilmJunk to joking that he masturbated while watching VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS before he found out its lead actress is like 13.

    Jay’s toast.

    The coast is toast and so is Jay.

  • newtaurus

    “Good talking points, my Republican friend.”

    Not a Republican. The Republicans (or GOP) are a political party I never have or never will be associated with, and like my irrational would-be brother-in-law who has to hate me because I prefer Bale over Keaton, you probably just automatically assumed I was “Republican” because life is easier when you hate everyone that doesn’t agree with everything you say.

    Maybe you should refrain from political banter until you figure out the difference between political parties and political ideologies.

    “So, let me say again: Worse than Trump?”

    I’ll say this slowly: This. Story. Is. About. James. Gunn. Getting. Fired. Over. His. Stupid. Pedophile. And. Rape. Jokes. It’s not, nor was it ever, about who is a worse human being, no matter how much you tell yourself it is.

    “And newtaurus, I wouldn’t be calling out people for wasting their lives on social media when you’ve racked up over 500 comments on Disquis.”

    I’m just curious Frank, at what point does the amount of Disqus comments one has become too many? And who made you the judge of what is too many?

    First off, I was referring to Twitter, which, in my opinion, has really done no good for anyone. Secondly, there’s only one “I” in Disqus. Lastly, 503 (soon 504) comments over a span of just under a year really isn’t that bad. If you’re smart enough to understand this (or do the math) it should tell you that my Disqus habits are pretty reasonable.

    There are people with thousands of Disqus comments, as well as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc, though in your mind that’s probably ok as long as they validate your opinion. But I get it, you gotta take a parting shot to make yourself feel like you won the argument. Whatever makes you feel better about yourself.

  • OMG Guardians of the galaxy 3, The greatest artistic accomplishment of our lifetime is at risk. Visionary director James Gunn is a victim of political correctness.

    no fuck off.

    Hollyweird needs to go away.

    Zero fucks given.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66fce1d73fb24b32392808ecefe57d21305ed217dc1957741442d5f628d2d370.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0d4db416d7dccf2bd38a4b56115e9c2f2ad79a1f35d6a0a19dc2e99170eab6d.jpg

  • Frank Booth

    “my irrational would-be brother-in-law who has to hate me because I prefer Bale over Keaton”

    That’s not why he hates you.

  • LordAwesome

    Well I haven’t seen or heard Trump repeatedly “joke” about fucking 3 year old kids so I’m going to say yes, he’s worse than Trump.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    Whoever’s hosting the next major awards show just got a wheelbarrow of material handed to them. Somewhere Ricky Gervais is quietly annoyed that it won’t be him – he could’ve turned this into one of the most uncomfortable should-I-laugh-or-shouldn’t-I moments in history.
    In all seriousness, those old tweets are beyond the pale and not even funny so I agree that Disney had to let him go. What I’m curious about is, what is the length of sentence for this sort of “social” crime? He’s apologised so now how long does he need to be a pariah before he gets to go back to work? I have no well thought opinion on this so genuinely interested in what other people think. Both Mel Gibson and Polanski still got to direct and I’d say his indiscretions fall somewhere between them? Or inline with Gibson?

  • Obviously the tweets are offensive jokes. It’s their right to fire him. He apologized, I believe people can change, especially when their creative output shows lots of change.

    But what everybody seems to be brushing over is the fact that the tweets were dredged up by alt-right Pizzagate mastermind and alleged rapist Mike Cernovich because he didn’t like how vocal Gunn was politically. He wasn’t offended by those tweets, he just wanted to destroy a man’s reputation, which is a scary use of social media.